Graduating this December with an associate degree in natural science, Tori Holiday knows exactly what she wants to do: comfort others the way a nurse reassured her.

“I like seeing people get better,” said Holiday. “In 2011 … I needed a blood transfusion. Just to know that (the nurse) was there calmed me down. I want to make someone’s day better.”
Holiday began her higher education journey as a La Marque High School sophomore. She applied to Upward Bound, an intensive program to help low-income, first-generation or disabled students succeed in college.
In Upward Bound she met with advisors and other students each Saturday for tutoring, social trips and help applying for college.
“(Staff) were there. They helped me fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid),” said Holiday. “They made the transition from high school to college very easy.”
Once at COM, she received financial aid and transitioned to Student Support Services, the sister program of Upward Bound.
“We go on transfer trips (to universities) to see our options. We went to see ‘Lion King’ and ‘Wicked.’ It made us more cultured,” said Holiday.
“It made me more adventurous.”
Besides Student Support Services, Holiday jumped into involvement with Student Government Association (SGA), serving as parliamentarian responsible for ensuring meetings follow rules of order.
There, she continued to flourish.
“SGA is an excellent experience. It opens your eyes,” said Holiday. “We went to Austin (for an SGA conference) to see what other colleges are doing and to make new friends. To know you get to help your community get better is a really awesome experience.”
Holiday plans to enter a nursing program and eventually work in anesthesiology, spurred on by help she received in Student Support Services and SGA.
“I’m still kind of shy, but (Upward Bound and Student Support Services) made me get out and meet people,” said Holiday. “It made me want to work with people more.”

For more information on COM Upward Bound, visit