The Team

Meet people who make all this happened


Sonya Nelson  /   Program Coordinator (Upward Bound Program)

“All knowledge is spendable currency, depending on the market”Maya Angelou

As a Veteran who served during the Gulf War, Ms. Nelson’s drive for counseling and advocacy was sparked when she was confronted with the lack of emotional support available for the children and youth of service members and veterans.  She pursued this path and has earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree with a concentration in Counseling and Advocacy from DePaul University.


With over 10 years of Office Management and programming experience, Ms. Nelson is instrumental in the development, coordination, and implementation of programs and operations for Upward Bound at UIC. Her role also extends to serving as Residence Director for high school students in the Upward Bound Summer Enrichment program. She uses her academic training and skills acquired through mentoring youth in holistic and secular environments to provide the residential participants with a collegiate experience.  Through the coordination of work study, workshops and other activities she builds a platform that develops interpersonal relationships, critical thinking and a love for learning. This programing also pinpoints and develops internal and external strengths and promotes resiliency. Ms. Nelson knows that knowledge is power and has made assisting others in obtaining that power her life’s ambition.

Assistant Director(Upward Bound Program) /  Charles Collins

“The only impossible journey is the one that you never begin.”Anthony Robbins

Charles Collins is a TRIO alumna and has twenty years of experience working in higher education that include positions as advisor and administrator in TRIO programs.  As the Assistant Director of the Upward Bound Program, Mr. Collins provide the elements of academic and personal support that meets the challenging needs of underrepresented students.  He holds a Masters of Education degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a doctoral candidate in Education Stewardship at the University of St. Francis Joliet.

When not engaged in providing program services, he participates in extracurricular pursuits such as playing tennis, exploring nature, traveling, and reading detective mysteries



Jedell Hoskins  Administrative Assistant (Upward Bound Program)

Ms. Jedell Hoskins has served the TRIO Program for over twenty years and has assisted numerous students in achieving their graduation goal. With her administrative TRIO duties of communicating, monitoring and tracking students, one of her enduring characteristics is the ability to relate to students and parents while delivering a considerate and loving nudge forward when necessary.  She experiences often chance encounters with program graduates in locations external to the workplace and is given great accolades and testaments of how her advice and assistance was beneficial. Student-centered advocacy is a key component in her philosophy of providing meaningful services to the TRIO students.


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