By Dr. Anthony Contreras, Citrus School Governing Board Member
When Missael Cuevas Chavez returned from his deployment to the Center East and was honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps, he quickly enrolled in lessons at Citrus College or university. Even though he was anxious about transitioning to an academic placing, the Azusa Superior University graduate understood he preferred to “change gears” and hoped Citrus College could enable him reach his goals.
The good thing is, Missael had occur to the appropriate put. Regarded as a Armed forces Helpful Faculty for more than a ten years, Citrus College or university has a popularity for meeting the exceptional requires of college students who have served in the armed forces. The vast array of offered expert services are managed as a result of the Citrus Faculty Veterans Achievement Center (VSC), a physical useful resource on campus exactly where associates of the military services can obtain info, search for assistance and interact with peers.
“The time I used at the Veterans Accomplishment Center was effective, specially the alumni meet up with-and-greet. Pupil veterans reviewed what they researched and what their life were being like just after university,” Missael mentioned. “That is exactly where I met a fellow veteran who experienced effectively completed the correct tutorial path I was arranging to pursue. His insights motivated me to continue functioning toward a mechanical engineering degree.”
Missael’s working experience demonstrates the worth of peer interaction for scholar veterans. Thanks to a latest nameless grant of $26,500, the VSC will quickly be in a position to deliver far more prospects like this 1. These resources will be made use of, in component, to launch a new peer mentor plan that will connect current college student veterans with veterans moving into school for the first time.
Having said that, networking with peers is just one particular profit of the VSC. Further gains include things like tutorial counseling, tutoring, psychological well being help and vocational rehabilitation. Pupil veterans also obtain assist navigating army and veteran education added benefits. Veteran dependents also have entry to the VSC and guidance solutions.
“The Veterans Achievement Center workers operate the system optimally,” Missael discussed. “They had been extremely practical, and it felt excellent not possessing to offer with any additional stress on top of the lessons I took. As a result, I have been ready to solve any difficulties I encountered.”
Even in the midst of a pandemic, the VSC has operated successfully, albeit in a remote natural environment. Through the substantial use of technology, the middle has ensured that all of its solutions continued. Everyday fall-in digital lounges, virtual orientations, on line tours, a weekly mental health and fitness virtual lounge and virtual counselor wander-in several hours have enabled the VSC to keep its dedication to veterans despite the campus closure.
Working with a holistic method to aid remove limitations, the VSC tends to make it feasible for scholar veterans to realize success academically and graduate from Citrus Faculty in growing numbers. In actuality, I am joyful to report that the Citrus School Class of 2021 incorporates 57 college student veterans. Quite a few of these college students will go on their schooling and transfer to four-yr faculties and universities in the tumble.
This is the path Missael selected. Just after completing his time at Citrus College or university, the 25-year-outdated transferred to California Condition Polytechnic College, Pomona. He is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and hopes to eventually make a master’s diploma.
“I would not have been able to attain my ambitions without having the help and guidance delivered by the school and staff at Citrus School,” he reported.
As the Azusa area’s agent on the Citrus Community University District Board of Trustees, I am happy of Citrus College’s motivation to supporting scholar veterans like Missael. His journey is a shining case in point of the wonderful do the job having spot at the college on a day by day foundation.