Throughout the almost 40 year history of Upward Bound at Adams State University there have been many Upward Bound Graduates who have gone on to very successful careers. Listed below are a few of those graduates who have been recognized as being an Upward Bound Achiever:
I grew up in the beautiful Valle de San Luis, in Antonito, Colorado. I went to Antonito High School where I was introduced to the TRIO programs first by the Talent Search counselors who recruited me and my buddies to be tutors. It was later on this same year that my high school counselor, Margie Garcia, talked to me about the Upward Bound Program. I don’t remember very much about what she told me except that the UB program had a summer component and if I applied and was accepted I would live on the campus in the dorms during the summer months. I wasn’t thinking about school or learning when the idea was given to me to apply to Upward Bound, freedom is what I was thinking about. Who would have known…
Upward Bound changed my life. I was exposed to so many wonderful things in the year and a half that I was in the program. UB helped me with the application and financial aid process at Adams State College. Through Upward Bound I was introduced to and finally was able to participate in the Mexican Folklorico Dance Group, Semillas de la Tierra. I took one semester off in my junior year and spent some time traveling through New Zealand. I came back to college after that short stint and graduated from Adams State College in the Spring class of 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English with emphases in Psychology, Journalism, and Education.
After graduating, I enjoyed many different experiences that led me around the world and back to Colorado. I am currently enrolled in a masters program in Student Affairs in Higher Education at CSU. Today I am the Interim Director of Student Support Services at Community College of Denver and the President of Colorado ASPIRE.
Beverly Maestas began her studies at Adams State University after graduating from Centennial High School in 1992. Beverly majored in Elementary Education and minored in general science. Throughout her years at ASU, Beverly remained an active part of Trio programs both as an Upward Bound Club member and part of the Student Support Services staff. Beverly feels very positive about the impact the Upward Bound Program had on her life.
She says she feels that Upward Bound gave her the the support and preparation necessary for success in college and provided valuable contacts with people on the campus. After completing her studies, Cum Laude, in the spring of 1996 Maestas was flooded with job offers throughout the state as well as New Mexico. However, Maestas chose to give back to her community and is currently superintendent of Centennial R-1 School District.
Angela Montoya is an educator and administrator who has been involved with the Upward Bound Program since the 1970’s. Ms. Montoya holds degrees from both Adams State College and Denver University. She is presently teaching in the South Conejos School District.
Angela has a very diverse and impressive work history. She has been a teacher of English for the Alamosa and Antonito school districts, as well as having been an English instructor for Alamosa Rocky Mountain SER Family Learning Center, and the San Luis Valley Area Vocational School. She has also worked for various community projects in both Alamosa and Conejos counties. She has assisted in writing grants and procuring funds for several valley projects in both Alamosa and Conejos counties. She is the founder of the KRZA Educational Radio and has been a member of the San Luis Valley Coalition for Drop Out Prevention.
Ms. Montoya was an Upward Bound student participant from Antonito High School in 1973-74. She credits Upward Bound and the Trio programs as “Being instrumental in helping her achieve her goals.” Exposure to, and participation in these programs encouraged her to enter the educational field. Her interactions with the TRIO programs helped her to believe in herself and inspired her to achieve both her personal and professional goals.
Angela’s advice to all TRIO and Upward Bound participants is to “Realize that education is a vital key to life. You need to follow your dreams, and a good education is the key which will open many doors. Dedicate yourselves to making the most out of every educational opportunity which comes your way.”
Jamie Romero, a 1993 graduate of Centauri High School and four year participant in Upward Bound at Adams State College, graduated from Colorado State University in August of 1997 with a degree in Computer Science. He works for Hewlett Packard in Loveland, Colorado.
Romero has many positive memories statements about how the Upward Bound program helped him succeed in college. Jamie feels that the Upward Bound summer math classes and ACT workshop gave him an edge fellow students did not have. Another aspect of the Upward Bound program that was beneficial to Romero was to have a chance to experience dorm life. He said when he arrived in the dorms at Ft. Collins he already knew what to expect. Romero has some advice for students in the program now. “Take advantage of the opportunities the program offers; these opportunities will benefit you in the long run.”
Victor Salazar has been involved with Upward Bound for many years. He was a student participant from Antonito High School. He also worked with Upward Bound during his college years as both a driver for the Academic Year night sessions and a counselor during the Summer Sessions. He received his B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from Adams State College in 1991.
From 1991-96 Victor worked for Valley-Wide Health Services, Inc., Adolescent Health Program. As a youth advocate, Victor has been involved in various community coalitions whose goals have been to implement alternative activities for youth and their families. He is also active in community development which is the effort a community makes to identify and solve many of their own problems.
In January of 1996, Victor accepted the position of Program Coordinator for the new School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP). SWAP is a collaborative effort between the San Luis Valley Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES), the San Luis Valley Educational Center–Alamosa Campus, and the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. This program is designed to work with students who have mild to moderate learning disabilities as they move from high school into the work force. His job responsibilities include developing and coordinating a program of community based services which will result in successful employment and community living opportunities for youth.
Tessa Velasquez, a 1992 Del Norte High School graduate and Upward Bound participant, attended Colorado State University. Velasquez received a Bachelors of Science, majoring in electrical engineering in 1996. During college Tessa kept her affiliation with TRIO by working with Talent Search. She has spoken on Upward Bound and Talent Search panels to promote these programs and let others know how she has benefited from them.
Velasquez is the first in her family to have gone to college and she says that Upward Bound was an incredible influence. She says that without the program’s encouragement and help in filling out applications and scholarships, she would never have gone to college. Tessa began her career as an intern for Hewlett Packard in her junior year of college. She currently works full time for the company as an engineer.