Alumni Testimonials

Sarah B.

Sarah's photo

2006 Graduate of West Rutland High School
2010 Graduate of University of Vermont
Bachelors of Science in Biology

"I thought I wanted to go to college, but was uncertain if I would be able to do it. It seemed such a huge step, a huge commitment, a place where organization skills could make or break you. College, would I be able to set goals and attain them? Am I academically prepared to succeed? Upward Bound has helped me to feel confident in my choices of continuing education by attending college and choosing a career path that is right for me…

Attending the summer sessions at Castleton in the Upward Bound program has prepared me for what is to come. Living on campus, attending classes and activities, is a near parallel I believe…Upward Bound helped me to organize my time, set priorities and follow through to achieve my goals…

I will look back on the Upward Bound program and continue to realize what a great opportunity it provided for students who may not be sure about attending college or weren’t sure if they would be able to organize their time or students whom may not even know of the opportunities out there. Even the opportunity to travel, visit other campuses and to meet so many new people helps to round out any young person. Upward Bound has been a positive experience no matter what I choose to do next in my life and I appreciate the opportunity to participate."

Alyssa P.


2008 Graduate of Rutland High School
2012 Graduate of University of Connecticut
Bachelors of Science in Diagnostic Genetic Sciences

"Upon entering high school, I was a straight “A” student, but I didn’t have any specific goals or aspirations in mind accept to keep doing well with my studies because it seemed to be something in which I excelled. Learning about the Upward Bound program changed my goals and aspirations dramatically! The program has not only encouraged me to formulate goals, it has presented me with a plethora of opportunities I didn’t know I had and the tools to do anything I put my mind to. My educational goals are to graduate from high school with a 4.0 GPA, be accepted to college(s) and to have the tools and skills to be successful while in post secondary school. Upward Bound has helped me to accomplish... all of these goals."

Sam L.


2011 Graduate of West Rutland High School
2015 Graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology
Bachelor of Science in Architecture

"In the autumn of 2007, I learned about Upward Bound. I decided to apply to the program. It was the first time in my life that I felt that I was making a difference in myself. Looking back to the times previous to me applying to the Upward Bound program, I had always just sort of 'gone with the flow'. During this time I decided to take control of the steering wheel and decide where I was going next...Upward Bound has given me something much more valuable than knowing how to fill out an application or conduct an interview. It has given me self-confidence. This will prove incredibly helpful in my college years. Having self-confidence allows me to step outside of my comfort zone. Stepping outside my comfort zone will introduce me to new experiences, knowledge, and success...

At the beginning of ninth grade, I had one goal; to get to college. Upward Bound has helped me specify that goal. It helped me decide what I want to study, where I want to study, and how I’m going to get there. Upward Bound has helped me in three main areas. First and foremost, the wonderful people behind the program have helped me remain focused on my academics. Secondly, the students in the program have reinforced and strengthened my social skills. Lastly, the program has given me the confidence necessary to take with me to future endeavors. I know that these skills Upward Bound has given me will strengthen my performance in college. They will help to create a more enjoyable experience for me. Because of Upward Bound, I now have a compass to guide me in that lifelong process of discovery."

 Jesse S.


2013 graduate of Rutland High School
Currently enrolled at Wells College
Majoring in Computer Science and Physics

"When I started my freshman year I really wasn’t thinking about my future. It just seemed so far away, I had all the time in the world to worry about it. I had thought about college early, I knew it would lead to a better life…One day in English my teacher told us that we were going to have a special presentation from a few people about a college program. When I learned that students would learn the college process and gain real life experience I was intrigued. Giving up time after school and time during the summer seemed worth the opportunity to go and learn how to get a better education and gain priceless knowledge…The classes and internships were wonderful; they gave me experience for college life. I earned straight A’s and I learned about New England’s ecology. The after school tutoring helped me in my everyday schoolwork. I’d never been interested in school government, but after some support, I was elected to the position of President of the UB Student Advisory Board…If it wasn’t for the knowledge, experience and nudging I received for my UB counselors, I don’t think I would have made it this far.”

Castleton Upward Bound is 100% federally funded at $270,375 annually.