HUNDREDS of San Luis Valley students have benefited from the Adams State University Upward Bound program and all alumni and friends are invited to the 50-Year Anniversary Celebration on Friday and Saturday, April 14 and 15, on the Adams State campus.

The Upward Bound Program is a federally funded program designed to work with low-income, first-generation college potential high school students. The program’s primary focus is to increase academic achievement through strategic interventions in ELA and math, and to increase performance on standardized tests. The program also places a strong focus on secondary school retention and graduation, and post-secondary enrollment and completion. Ninety percent of Upward Bound students enroll in post-secondary institutions.

Registration has opened for the event. A social and reception begins at 5 p.m. Friday, April 14, at the Marvel House. On April 15 a gathering including lunch, entertainment and award presentations will be held in the Plachy Hall Fieldhouse. The total cost is $25 per person.

“We would like to see students from all five decades join us, share their stories and catch up with friends,” said Amanda Atencio, Upward Bound executive director. “Friends, former and current faculty and staff, and Upward Bound advocates are also invited to celebrate in this special event. We are excited to highlight our keynote speaker and the program’s first director, Richard Duran, Ph.D., as well as a special tribute to Upward Bound lifetime achievers. This will be an event that should not be missed.”

The Upward Bound 50-Year Celebration Committee includes Adams State alumni: Angelica Valdez, class of 1998 and 2008; Mark Martinez, class of 2013; Beverly Maestas, Ph.D., class of 1996; Brandi Barbosa-Fraire, class of 2006; Luella Lopez, class of 1984; and Amanda Atencio,class of 2005. 

The committee is currently soliciting nominations for Upward Bound Champion Awards. Registration and nomination forms are available on the event web page.  Or, contact the Adams State Upward Bound Office at 719-587-7865, Student Business Services at 719-587-7758 or email

TOP PHOTO: Since 1972, the Adams State Upward Bound program has assisted San Luis Valley high school students with college preparation.