History of Veterans Upward Bound

In the thick of the Civil Rights Movement, ongoing conflict in Vietnam, and historically high levels of poverty, the Lyndon B. Johnson administration set in motion social reforms designed to halt the spread of poverty in America as part of his “Great Society.” The War on Poverty focused on key contributing causes to poverty, one of which is education. The Higher Education Act of 1965 created the US Department of Education’s TRIO programs, helping historically disadvantaged and underrepresented youths have access to higher education. TRIO eventually expanded its services to include adult learners and non-traditional student populations including veterans. 

Veterans Upward Bound was created in 1972 as a priority project to meet the academic needs of veterans returning from the Vietnam War. Today, 65 projects are in operation providing program services to nearly 8,500 veterans every year from every war era and peacetime era since the early 1950’s (Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, OIF-OEF, etc).

Veterans Upward Bound provides eligible veterans and active duty servicemembers the necessary help and tools to enter a program of post-secondary education. The program also provides veterans who do not have a high school diploma, an opportunity to prepare for the General Educational Development test (GED).

All veteran participants receive refresher training through a core curriculum of subjects that prepare them for college level course material. Participants are also informed of various support services on many college campuses. Upon successful completion of the VUB program, the veteran participants are not only familiar with services and resources available to them as students but more importantly they possess a renewed confidence in their academic abilities.


Veterans served each year


Projects in operation


Of enrollees are first generation college students

Meet Curtis

Curtis Addleman is an educator, Chef, and retired US Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer. He is the Project Director for the Veterans Upward Bound program hosted at Catholic University serving Veterans in the DC area. Originally from State College, Pennsylvania, he and his wife, Sarah have been in DC for 4 years and love calling DC home. Curtis holds a Masters Degree in Higher Education from The Pennsylvania State University.


at Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C.

In December of 2023 The Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) project hosted at The Catholic University of America was funded and the New Director hired. The program is committed to providing academic and supportive services to eligible veterans and active-duty military personnel in Washington, DC. Our mission is to empower and assist veterans in achieving their educational and career goals by offering personalized assistance, access to resources, and a supportive community that recognizes their unique challenges and contributions. Through our comprehensive program and continuous evaluation, we strive to promote academic success, retention, and graduation among our participants, and to contribute to their overall well-being and success beyond the classroom.


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