Calling all veterans in Colfax County, New Mexico! Front and center!

U.S. Senator Chauncey Depew (New York, 1899-1911) was quoted, “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” That’s easier said than done in many cases. If you’ve always lived in one place, always worked at the same job, always followed in the footsteps of previous generations, it may be difficult to even think about doing anything differently. This is true for many Americans.

For U.S. military active duty veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, they’ve already deviated from the norm. Many have lived in foreign countries or other states in service to their country. Some have been wounded in combat, married other service members, childhood sweethearts or foreign nationals, started families, etc. After separation from military service, countless have had to leave their point of origin to find work in urban areas, some have elected to return home to take up the family business while many return with emotional and/or physical challenges.  Often it’s difficult to admit that where you’re at currently and what you’re doing isn’t working for you…or your family. But where do you start taking that one crucial step towards “somewhere”?

Education is empowerment. Computer skills are essential to compete in today’s workforce. Those are facts. Even modern ranching and agricultural enterprises use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other Information Technology and precision farming tools to manage their business. Enrolling in the Veterans Upward Bound Program sponsored by the University of New Mexico-Taos is a great first step. Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) is a one-hundred percent Department of Education funded program to help improve academic skills for continued education. It is one of the TRIO suite of programs within the purview of the Higher Education Act of 1965.  It’s one of the best kept secrets in Department of Education history. The best thing about VUB is it doesn’t affect any other VA educational benefits, such as the G.I. Bill, and it’s free!

Many veterans returning to civilian life have been out of school for five, ten, fifteen or more years and things have definitely changed.  The military occupational specialty (MOS) obtained in the service may not translate well to desired jobs skills within the civilian workforce. The Veterans Upward Bound Program offers workshops, online self-paced courses and academic boot camps to provide veterans with the skills to succeed in entering a college or vocational school. These benefits can also help with progressing in one’s current career field. Why use those valuable, finite VA educational benefits on developmental classes and/or remedial coursework when they can be used to complete a degree or certification?

Enrolling in the Veterans Upward Bound program has other non-academic benefits as well. Our friendly, experienced team of military veterans aids in researching educational funding opportunities, completing financial aid and scholarship applications, navigating those innumerable veteran and community services to which veterans may be entitled, and doing the necessary legwork to enable our students the time to focus on completing the program.

Once a participant has completed the Veterans Upward Bound program, they don’t necessarily have to attend UNM Taos. They may attend any two or four-year-college or university, trade, vocational or technical school of their choice. If, after completing the program, they choose not to continue their education, that’s okay too.

The Veterans Upward Bound program, sponsored by UNM Taos, is the only VUB program in New Mexico. It was designed to increase enrollment in and the completion of post-secondary education for low-income, first-generation college-bound veterans. The grant was approved in 2012 and in a short seven years, we’ve enrolled 594 veterans in the program with over 72% of low-income and first generation veterans, 59% of whom improved their academic scores on standardized tests, and 88% of whom completed the VUB program. These scores are well above the established program goals!

Now, you’ve decided to give the program a try…what are the next steps? If you’re interested in taking that first step to “somewhere”, contact us at 1-855-357-3725 or 575-737-3725. You can also find additional information on our website: or email us at One of our team members will be happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have. There’s absolutely no obligation to enroll in the program and we’ll be happy to continue to serve those who’ve served our country.



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