Veterans Upward Bound gives vets chance at college

Megan Engle

Alison Anderson remembers the first time she enrolled at Veterans Upward Bound. The former military police officer had experienced a couple of “going-no-where” jobs and finally realized it was time to get serious.

She made a trip to the unemployment office; they told her to check out VUB.

Anderson figured she would give it a try.

“(VUB) has been the best,” she said. “The people that I’ve dealt with have helped me tremendously with my self-esteem. After I overcame that, the rest was easy.”?

VUB is a federally funded program designed to help military veterans prepare to enroll in a post secondary school. Western’s program is housed in Jones-Jaggers Hall.

Now 30 years old, Anderson is a senior at Western and still a part of the program, maintaining a 3.84 grade point average.

“In a nutshell, it was the most beneficial thing that I’ve ever done,” Anderson said. “It not only taught me math, reading, and Spanish, but it taught me to believe in myself.”

But there are many, including veterans, that don’t have any idea that a program such as VUB exists.

“It’s unfortunate that more people don’t know about it,” 51-year-old student David Angle said.?

After serving time in the military, Angle decided to return to school and enroll in the program.?

“I felt like a fish out of water; it gave me a lot more confidence,” he said.

All participants of Veteran’s Upward Bound must have at least 180 days of active service without a dishonorable discharge, and must either be low income or first generation college students.

Students must also live in the Bowling Green area, have a need for academic assistance and show academic potential.

“We don’t keep (the students) just to say that we taught them math and English, we do it because we want them to learn, and they want to learn,” Director Randy Wilson said.

Classes that are offered for VUB students at Jones-Jaggers include language arts, mathematics, science, foreign language and computer word processing.

The program provides post secondary school entry advising, academic advising, career advising and financial aid advising.

Out of the 120 veterans that enroll in VUB during a fiscal year, most of the students continue to attend school at Western, but all qualified veterans can find any type of school that suits his or her needs.?

Coordinator Counselor Martha Kenney recruits veterans for the program.

“I feel there is no more of a deserving group of people than those that are willing to risk their life for our country,” she said.