Director: Stephanie King

Stephanie KingSince February 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 BeckhamAssistant Director: 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:


Academic Coordinator: Cruz Rodriguez

Cruz RodriguezCruz was born and raised in Beloit, WI. He graduated from Beloit Memorial High school in 2011 and was a participant in Beloit College's Upward Bound Program all 4 years of high school. He was a summer mentor for the Beloit College's Upward Bound/Help Yourself Summer Programs from 2011 to 2013. Cruz attended Dominican University and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Photography and Digital Cinema in 2015. During college, he gained extensive knowledge of college opportunities with his campus involvement in Residence Life and Student Involvement. He is excited to be back and in a brand new role with the program. 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: