/ Upward Bound


Alumni Spotlight

Monica Celina Muñoz

  • Monica Celina MuñozUpward Bound Alumna, Class of 2013
  • Degree: B.A., nursing, Hope College 2017
  • Study Abroad/Off-Campus Study: Haiti Immersion Trip, Cultural Trip (Atlanta, Ga.), Interfaith Conference
  • Extracurricular Activities: Latino Student Organization, GROW Advocacy, Fostering a Community of Excellence in the Sciences (FACES)
  • Internship/Research/Work Experience: Holland Hospital ICU/TU internship, Research conducted at Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital Urgent Care
  • Awards/Honors: Women of Color Speaker 2017, Global Awareness and Involvement Award
  • Future Plans: Work as a nurse in the Holland area for two years, then apply for graduate school for midwifery

Alumni Profiles

Norfillia Ramirez-Hamilton 

Norfilia“The summer I attended Upward Bound was one of the best summers of my life. Up to that point, I had no direction and really had no idea I could attend college and succeed. Programs like these are necessary to motivate and nurture kids from all walks of life.”

  • UB/Fennville Class of 1968
  • MSW, Grand Valley State University
Joe Guzman

Joe“When I had trouble with homework before UB, no one was there to help me, and I would just give up after a while. Then I joined UB, and a tutor was always an arms length away to tap on my shoulder to help me. UB changed my whole mindset about education. Before I joined UB I pretty much hated school. College was a place only the smart and rich went to. I had no idea what people did there. I just knew of the name to be honest, and I didn't ask questions (ever). But now college is a place I’m attending to come that much closer to a degree and my dream career.”

  • UB/Holland High School Class of 2013
  • Grand Rapids Community College
Caroline Sanchez

Caroline“The UB experience had a lot of influence on my education because I always wanted to be like my UB mentors. I thank UB for instilling in me values and the importance of education. I know I can share that with others. If not for UB, I probably would not have gone on to college; UB had a great impact on my life.”

  • UB/Holland High School Class of 1998
  • B.A., social work, University of Puerto Rico in Humacao
Felix Berdecia

Felix “Upward Bound has played a significant role in my education and life’s journey. Looking back, I’m honored to have had the opportunity to be part of an organization which thrives on helping others pursue their educational goals. Initially, I came to Upward Bound with the mentality of simply wanting to graduate and look for work. While participating in the program, I gained ambition as well as access to resources which enabled me to earn my high school diploma and a chance at a college education. For the first time, I began to consider continuing my education. However, due to certain obstacles in my life, I had to put my dream on hold. Fast forward twenty-plus years, I am now married with a wonderful family. I am pursuing my goal of earning a college degree and with only one year left, my dream is finally becoming a reality. Although it has taken me a bit longer than others, without the ambition that was installed in me while attending Upward Bound, I would have not held on to my goal of finishing college. I hope the program continues to impact the lives of students, as it did mine, for years to come.”

  • UB/Holland High Class of 1990
  • Davenport University
Guillermo Martinez

Guillermo"UB helped us to be ready to come out of our comfort zones and be involved, be part of change. Our educational journey (through UB) includes growing academically, socially, culturally and spiritually. We have to have a balance of these to be strong.”

  • UB/ Fennville High School Class of 1970
  • Associate’s degree, Kalamazoo Valley Community College
Victor Nguyen

Victor“Upward Bound helped me understand the college application process and provided numerous opportunities to visit colleges which assisted me in choosing the right school and program for me. Through the UB summer programs, I also gained the skills to be an independent college student that learned to balance my time between social and academia. I recently finished my Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) and am still continuing further education through a fellowship program down in Tampa, Florida, where I'm working as a health economics consultant to pharmaceutical companies and pursuing a master‘s degree in applied pharmacoeconomics." 

  • UB/West Ottawa High School Class of 2008
  • B.S., biomedical sciences and B.A., economics, Western Michigan University
  • Pharm.D., pharmacy, Wayne State University