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(Sponsored Content) You served us. Let UNM-Taos serve you.

By Scott Gerdes
Posted 4/30/20

“It almost felt like fate” to Anthony Rumfolo when he arrived to work at Taos Ski Valley last winter. After serving the country, the Air Force veteran (Senior Airman E-4, 2003-2008) had been trying to find his purpose in the civilian world.

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(Sponsored Content) You served us. Let UNM-Taos serve you.

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“It almost felt like fate” to Anthony Rumfolo when he arrived to work at Taos Ski Valley last winter. After serving the country, the Air Force veteran (Senior Airman E-4, 2003-2008) had been trying to find his purpose in the civilian world.

He attended a job fair at the end of ski season. He talked to New Mexico Workforce representatives who sent him to a rep for veterans who, in turn, suggested he check into the Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) program at UNM-Taos.

He connected with VUB, took an aptitude test, and is preparing to set a course to become a physical therapist.

“I wanted to get back into a career that can help people – to help the community,” he shared. “I know this program will absolutely be helpful for me.”

When their duty ends, veterans like Rumfolo contemplate going back to school to find a
new career. But they often don’t know where
to begin. Plus, the education- and employment- related needs of veterans are ever-evolving. Comprehensive local veteran resources are extremely valuable, especially in the current state of the COVID-19 crisis and economic downturn.

Since its inception in 2012, Rumfolo is one of about 600 veterans who have changed their lives through the help of VUB. It’s the only program of its kind in New Mexico. VUB is a U.S. Department of Education program. Its target population resides in north central New Mexico. Its goal is
to help eligible vets wanting a higher education through free precollege programs or “college readiness.”

“We show vets the path of what they need to
do to get into a college – any college,” explained Brandy Corry, UNM-Taos Veterans Upward Bound program director. “Our advisors were first-generation, low-income veterans. They know. They’ve been there.”

VUB provides extensive advising on how to
get into the college of their choice, obtaining scholarships and grants, and how to fill out admissions forms. Study skills workshops, academic refreshers, and resource referrals are at VUB’s core. Services are free, done at your own pace, and online.

Because vets have generally been out of school for 5 years, Corry said, VUB offers academic refresher classes. Also, tests are taken by potential students for placement into higher level core courses so their GI Bill money isn’t spent on remedial classes. VUB does not affect military education benefits.

“We hear what students need to shore up
their personal situations to focus on school,” Corry added. “We try to alleviate needs by connecting them with places that can help. Individual student plans are created and the student can then decide the steps they want to take. We understand that sometimes the college commitment can’t be met. We want to see every student go on to college and succeed, but it’s not mandatory that they do.”

Corry said they see a lot of vets who self- select out of the program because they don’t believe they qualify. Before thinking you don’t qualify, please check with VUB staff by emailing unmvub@unm.edu; calling 1-855- 357-3725; or go online to taos.unm.edu/ veteransupwardbound.

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