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How Veterans Upward Bound is helping veterans stay focused on their goals

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Featured veteran, Roberto Amaya, discusses how Veterans Upward Bound is helping him stay focused on his goals.
Featured veteran, Roberto Amaya.

Featured veteran, Roberto Amaya. /Veterans Upward Bound

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Roberto Amaya in the Army.

Roberto Amaya in the Army. /Roberto Amaya

Roberto Amaya with family.

Roberto Amaya with family. /Roberto Amaya

Roberto Amaya first heard about Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) when a dear friend sent him a link to the website. After reading about the program, it didn’t take him long to make a decision. “Obviously, I liked what I read, and joined,” Roberto said.

Having served in the United States Army for three years, working in Military Intelligence (NSA), he liked that VUB specifically supports opportunity and access for veterans in postsecondary education.

Roberto works full time at two part time jobs, and is taking a class at Grand Rapids Community College. He is working towards a Mechanical Design Certificate, which prepares students to work at an entry level position as an engineering technician. After obtaining a Mechanical Design Certificate, Roberto would like to work at his brother’s company as an engineering technician.

With such a busy schedule, VUB has allowed Roberto to remain focused on his goals. “Veterans Upward Bound has helped to keep my goals in front of me while helping to reveal the shortest path to that end,” he says. “It has allowed me to keep my goals reasonable and attainable.”

His favorite part of VUB is the unique, specialized, attention that he has received from the VUB staff. “They look out for my best interest regarding my college career and goals,” he said.

The staff at VUB stays connected to the veterans in the program in any way they can, whether through face to face contact, emails, program seminars, social events, or even by using Facetime. They will do what they can to make sure everyone is being taken care of. “Having questions and concerns about my college career path being researched and answered by the VUB staff is a godsend,” Roberto says. “Time is so limited on my end.”

Veterans Upward Bound is helping Roberto to achieve his goals of becoming an engineering technician. If you are a veteran, or know of a veteran who could benefit from this program, please visit to learn more, or call (616) 331-8387 and one of the VUB staff members will be happy to speak with you.


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