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Director: Stephanie King

Since Februa[Stephanie]ry 2006, Stephanie King has served as Director of Upward Bound and the Help Yourself Programs (pre-college programs for area youth). Since her arrival, she has successfully written nine grants totaling 3.3 million dollars – including two federal TRIO grants, six state grants and three corporate grants.  Stephanie previously served as the Community Service Coordinator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison for over seven years.  As a first-generation college student raised in Beloit, Stephanie earned her Bachelor’s degree in 1989 from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in Psychology with a French minor and her Master’s degree in 1998 from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse in Education with a focus on College Student Development.   email:



[Vanessa Beckham]Academic Coordinator: Vanessa Beckham

Vanessa grew up in both Beloit, WI and Tampa, FL. She graduated from Beloit Memorial High school in 2005, and decided to continue her education at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL. There, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Music Management. During college, she gained extensive knowledge of college opportunities with her campus involvement in Residence Life, Multicultural Student Affairs, and Greek Life. She has spent the last 3 years working in admissions for an online university in Tampa, FL, and is excited to be back in Beloit to help high school students get on the right path to continuing their education at a post-secondary institution. email:



Program Assistant: Gerry Carlson

Gerry Carlson received her undergraduate degree from Pepperdine University in California and a Master of Liberal Arts degree from the University of California. While pursuing these degrees and after graduating, she worked at Allstate Insurance Company. Over the years there, she enjoyed various positions such as Claim Adjuster, Human Resource Manager and Sales. She is married to Pastor Chris Carlson of Redeemer Covenant Church in Beloit. Together they have six adopted children. When not working as a Program Assistant in the Upward Bound and Help Yourself programs, she enjoys family and church activities.    email:



Secretary: Sharon Meade

Sharon Meade grew up in the Western Slope area of Colorado and settled near Rockford, Illinois in 1988. In June 2005, she joined the Help Yourself and Upward Bound programs as a secretary. Prior to coming to Beloit, she worked for 15 years in the Harlem School District as manager of the Teacher Resource Department. Interacting with the students at the elementary through college level is her favorite part of her job. She feels that it is wonderful to see the growth of the students and share in a wonderful piece of their lives. In Sharon’s spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and hospitality.    email: