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Meet Our Team

Staff Members

Shayona oversees the academic achievement of students and develops the day to day operations of the Upward Bound program. Her primary responsibilities center around budget management, program objectives, collaborations, strategic planning and initiatives to increase college access for students. Alongside her team, she has the opportunity to develop, implement, and evaluate educational and cultural field trips and educational workshops on a monthly basis. Shayona is a first- generation, Upward Bound alumni who has a passion for supporting and creating spaces where students can succeed.  Shayona received her master’s and bachelor’s degree in Social Work from University of Southern Indiana.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with her family, planning events, and traveling.

Upward Bound at IWU

Shayona Funches

Upward Bound at IWU
Upward Bound at IWU


Assistant Director

Michael is passionate about his family, gaining knowledge, mentoring and providing ways for students to surpass potential they may not know they have. He received his master’s and bachelor’s degree from Taylor University where he played collegiate football before playing in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts. Outside of work you can find Michael spending time with his wife and kids, cooking and doing anything related to the outdoors or sports.

Timber Ross

Office Manager

Timber is a motivated team-player responsible for the coordination and support of the general day to day administrative, clerical, and operational tasks related to the Upward Bound Program. You will find Timber behind the desk greeting visitors, families, and students as they enter the office. Timber is from Kentucky and moved to Marion 18 years ago. Timber is a first generation Upward Bound alumni who loves to see students reach for the stars and achieve their dreams. It is important for students to realize that with hard work and determination they can accomplish their goals. Timber received her practical nursing diploma from Marion Community School of Practical Nursing and her associate degree from Ivy Tech Community College in General Studies. Timber loves spending time with her husband, kids, family, and friends. She also enjoys being crafty, traveling, and exploring new places.

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