Student Voice

The Veteran’s Resource Center provides a great foundation of support for student veterans

Tutor+Kevin+Ying%2C+27%2C+left%2C+reviews+math+class+materials+with+Geaquari+Carlisle%2C+25%2C+in+the+Veteran%27s+Resource+Center.+Photo+credit%3A+John+Louie+Menorca
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The Veteran’s Resource Center provides a great foundation of support for student veterans

Tutor Kevin Ying, 27, left, reviews math class materials with Geaquari Carlisle, 25, in the Veteran's Resource Center. Photo credit: John Louie Menorca

Tutor Kevin Ying, 27, left, reviews math class materials with Geaquari Carlisle, 25, in the Veteran's Resource Center. Photo credit: John Louie Menorca

Tutor Kevin Ying, 27, left, reviews math class materials with Geaquari Carlisle, 25, in the Veteran's Resource Center. Photo credit: John Louie Menorca

Tutor Kevin Ying, 27, left, reviews math class materials with Geaquari Carlisle, 25, in the Veteran's Resource Center. Photo credit: John Louie Menorca

By Mary Altshuller

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The Veterans Resource Center at Moorpark College offers academic counseling, tutoring services, and special mental health counseling provided by representatives from the Health Center twice a month.

Their services includes education guidance, transitioning into civilian life, guiding student veterans to other veterans centers, family counseling, and dealing with anxiety issues or any other mental health problems.

To start out, a veteran has to first walk into the Veterans Resource Center, to meet with a student ambassador. The ambassador’s main responsibility is to help facilitate the incoming traffic into the Center, get student veterans signed in, and help them address their needs.

“We held an open forum on campus to discuss issues that student veterans are facing,” said Johnny Conley, Professional Expert of the Veterans Resource Center. “Many of them have families and mortgages but face other challenges as well.”

The Veterans Resource Center offers a support system for student veterans at Moorpark College. Several services are offered to these men and women, many of whom are older than the usual student population, and have completed at least one tour of duty.

Joel Bailey, a 31-year-old computer engineer major, finds that the Resource Center is great for what it provides.

“It’s beneficial for me. I can come in and do my homework and prepare for my next classes. It’s nice to reconnect with other vets,” said Bailey.

Furthermore, since Fall 2016, the Veterans Resource Center has helped its student veterans with expensive book purchases based on their financial needs. They fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form and receive $200 that enables them to buy a book for one semester.

“At the end of the semester, they return the book so it can be used next semester by another student vet.” said Conley.

Another aspect of the VRC is their ability to certify the student veterans for financial aid. This particular certification allows the vets to receive release papers, then allowing them to go through the steps needed so that the Veterans Administration will pay for their education.

Fellow student veteran, Josh Ferguson, a 31-year-old ceramics major, agrees with Bailey’s statement.

“It’s a great place for people to get resources and be with other like-minded individuals,” said Ferguson.

Bailey said the VRC has been beneficial for him in that it helps him focus on school and the re-entry to the academic environment.

“I utilize the tutors here,” he said. “It helps the other student vets with the process. If you’re a vet, come to the Veterans Resource Center.”

Looking ahead to the future, Conley has reached out to Eyes of Freedom, an Ohio-based small-town organization, for a few combat veterans to talk to them about their story. They’ll be working with other schools in the area in mid-March but are waiting on further funding.

In addition, Moorpark College will be cooperating with the Texas A&M University to educate other schools on how to interact and support military personnel on their campuses.

“Knowing that the Veterans Resource Center is a one-stop-shop for the veteran student population with registering for classes, tutoring, and counseling, our peer-to-peer environment serves as a positive environment, and encourages a positive environment and builds a camaraderie among its population,” said Conley.

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About the Writer
Mary Altshuller, Copy editor

Mary Altshuller is the Student Voice's long-serving copy editor. This is her fourth semester on the newspaper staff, where she has also worked as a reporter...

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