CCCC grant helps veterans
Army veteran Maurice Wilson, of Sanford, is excited about Central Carolina Community College’s new Veterans Upward Bound program. He’s one of the first to take advantage of it.
The program is funded by a five-year, $1.23 million Veterans Upward Bound grant awarded to the college by the U.S. Department of Education. The goal of VUB is to increase college attendance and success among veterans residing in Chatham, Harnett, Johnston, Lee and Wake counties.
The DOE has been awarding Veterans Upward Bound grants nationally since 1972, but this is the first one awarded to an institution in North Carolina.
Wilson served 16 years in the Army and Army Reserve. He then worked as an industrial electrician for 17 years, until, as he said, “the company belly-upped.” He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1986, but now wants a degree in industrial maintenance. He then plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in that area and go into management.
“The VUB program is a wonderful opportunity for veterans to use the resources provided to better themselves for the future,” he said.
More than 87,000 veterans reside in the grant project’s service area. The VUB program will provide well-rounded support to enable them to be successful in their future educational pursuits as well as to prepare for a career. All services through the VUB program are free.
"Our Veterans Upward Bound Program is committed to preparing veterans for postsecondary studies,” said CCCC TRIO Programs director Gerri Williams. “We know that sometimes it's difficult for our veterans to leave the military and then have to decide on a long-term career choice and how they would like to continue to serve their country. That's what our Veterans Upward Bound is here to do ... to help veterans explore various careers, college majors and colleges that will fit their long-term career goals.”
Veterans interested in signing up for the VUB can contact Williams at (919) 718-7463 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information is also available at www.cccc.edu/vub/.
CCCC administers the grant in the five-county area. The college will serve veterans residing in Chatham, Harnett and Lee, while Wake Tech Community College and Johnston Community College will provide services to eligible veterans in their counties.
The grant will fund needs assessment, academic advising, career counseling, mentoring, tutoring, assistance with college application/admission, financial aid information, and assistance with enrollment in postsecondary education. It will also pay for project support staff, provide stipends to the veterans, and cover other expenses as needed, such as the cost of college preparatory classes.
The VUB program will also assist veterans in connecting with other locally available resources such as the Veterans Administration, state veterans agencies, veteran associations, and other state and local agencies that serve veterans.