Officials with Veterans Upward Bound, a Department of Education program operated from the the campus of Arkansas Tech in Russellville, were in town last week trying to spread awareness of their mission.

Targeted to low income veterans, the program is operated through ATU but is not exclusive to the school.

The program is “college neutral” director Kristie Wilson pointed out during a coffee mixer held last week at the Chamber of Commerce office. Services can also go toward trade schools and apprenticeships.

According to a Department of Education website, the program “is designed to motivate and assist veterans in the development of academic and other requisite skills necessary for acceptance and success in a program of postsecondary education.”

Services the program provides can include academic advising, career counseling, online refresher courses, financial literacy, financial aid counseling, assistance with Veterans Administration education benefits and more.

The program is open to veterans in a 10 counties area, which includes Logan.

The organization is approved to serve 125 veterans and is was able to reach the maximum in its current first year, academic advisor Alan Parson said.

However, the program, which operates from Sept. 1 through the following Aug. 31, will have at least 10 openings for the next year and four people are already on a waiting list, Parsons adds.

Parsons says he likes the program because, as a veteran himself, he believes “if I can be successful, other people can be successful too.”

The first eligibility requirement if for an individual to have at least 180 days of active duty in the military or be in a guard or reserve for 30 days, or anyone who was a reserve who served in active duty in support of a contingency operation on or after Sept. 11, 2001.

A second requirement is income dependent based upon family size or the individual can be a first generation college student — neither parent has completed a four year degree — demonstrate academic need or have a documented disability.

For more information program officials can be reaced via phone at (479) 880-4341, at vub@adu.edu, at www.atu.edu/vub or Parsons can be reached directly at aparsons5@atu.edu or 479-356-2082 or his cell at 785-979-1726.