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Veterans Upward Bound offers transitional tools


There are several alternative programs and sources that are available for veterans at CSU-Pueblo other than Veteran Affairs. The Veterans Upward Bound program was established on campus in 2003. 

Chris Beltran, right, and the Veterans Upward Bound Staff at a meet and greet Tuesday, Jan. 24. Photo by Chris Lujan.

The Upward Bound program is a non-profit organization funded by the U.S Department of Education that began in 1972. VUB is set up to help veterans with their transition into the academic community and there to support any of their needs as they pursue a secondary education.

VUB, with cooperative efforts from the school, community and other organizations and agencies, seeks to provide better opportunities for veterans. It offers college entrance assistance, academic instruction and educational programs as well.

 “We want veterans to be more successful in their post-secondary education by providing the support and influence they need to be successful,” said Chris Beltran , the director of VUB. “Our office is a hub for veterans on campus, a place where veterans can seek help in numerous aspects of their college career.”

Beltran currently has a group of volunteers working on a new program where other veterans mentor new veteran students. They will teach and supply them with the tools they need to achieve their academic goals. Veterans helping veterans is their motto.

“In the military we speak a different kind of language, I’m hoping to increase their ability to continue their education by helping them out,” said Lance Stewart, a volunteer working with Beltran.

The best part about the program is that it’s free to all qualifying veterans. VUB provides free academic skills training and tutoring in computer literacy, English, grammar and composition, mathematics, science and Spanish. Career counseling, books, class room materials and online skill building modules are also benefits of the program, also with no cost to the applicant.

Assistance in other needs such as housing, utilities and financial aid through other programs and sources like the G.I. Forum and American Legion are alternative veteran centers that are also provided by VUB, Beltran said.

The program focuses on low-income students and first generation students.

The CSU-Pueblo VUB program works in concurrence with other on campus veteran services, such as the Veterans Military Support Club and the Veterans Educational Benefits Office. Together these programs strive to prepare future veteran graduates with the opportunity for success not only in their college careers but future business careers.

Veterans Upward Bound program holds several fundraising and informational events throughout the year. This spring they will be hosting a Valentine’s Day dance Feb. 11, at the South Colorado Gaming and Events Center, as well as the Veterans Resource Fair Mar. 31.

For more information on upcoming VUB events or to volunteer contact the VUB office at 719-549-2875, or their office is located in the Library and Academic Resources Center, Room 374.