Congratulations to our 2019 Cohort Graduates!
Jordin dreamed of serving in the military since she was 6 years old. She comes from a military family and she wanted to continue her family’s legacy as well as set an example for her two younger brothers. Jordin served in the United States Navy for five years. She started as an Air Traffic Controller where she monitored the position, speed, and altitude of aircrafts. Later, she served as a Master at Arms, where she became a weapon specialist and worked in the Naval Security Forces. She was stationed at many naval bases including Florida, Illinois, Maryland, and Spain. Two weeks after her service ended, Jordin visited Fresno State in hopes of starting school and was directed to the Veterans Education Program. After completing the program, she plans to matriculate into Fresno State as a full-time student and earn her degree in Psychology. Jordin’s goal is to have her own practice and help her fellow service members with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS).
Aaron looked up to his Grandfather who was a Word War II United States Marine and followed in his footsteps by enlisting. Aaron served in the United State Marine and was deployed to Afghanistan. His job was to detect and defuse enemy explosives. Unfortunately, he was injured by an explosion and earned a Purple Heart Medal. Aaron was introduced to the Veterans Education Program when he met one of the program’s representatives at the Veterans Affairs hospital. He previously tried enrolling in college without success. The Veterans Education Program offered to remove all of the obstacles that had prevented him from pursuing his dream of going to college. Aaron is excited to matriculate as a full-time Fresno State student in Fall 2019.
Laura was so eager to serve in the military that she graduated from high school early and left for Army Basic Training three days after she turned 18. When all her classmates were graduating high school, she was graduating from Basic Training. Laura joined US Army as in an Active Duty capacity in 1997. She went to Fort Jackson, SC for Basic Training, then to Fort Gordon, GA for Advanced Individual Training as an Information System Operator Analyst for 17 weeks. She then served a year in South Korea, preparing and updating war plans. Laura received a letter of recommendation from a three-star General for her hard work, team work, commitment, and dedication to her unit in Korea. After that, she moved to Fort Bliss, TX for a year and a half to train with the Air Defense Artillery and learn to put together and run a networking field Command Center. Her last duty station was Fort Bragg, NC, where she worked for the 18th Airborne Corps assisting with networking, server diagnostics, and oversight until she left the service in 2001. Laura learned about the Veterans Education Program when she went to apply at Clovis Community College. Laura plans to matriculate into Fresno State and graduate with a degree in Information Technology.
U.S. Air Force
David decided to join the military when he was a sophomore in high school. He always wanted to become a police officer but he was too young to attend the police academy when he graduated from high school. He completed a six-year Active duty tour in the United States Air Force as an Airborne Communications Systems and Electronics Specialist. He flew on the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) platform. After David completed his Active Duty, he joined the Air National Guard as a Security Force in hopes that doing so would strengthen his application for a Law Enforcement job outside the military, eventually becoming a police officer in Fargo, ND. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t agree with him and he decided to come back to California, where he obtained a full-time Active Guard Reserve Job as a Security Force in the California Air National Guard. David learned about the Veterans Education Program from a briefing at the 144th California Air National Guard’s base. He enrolled in the program and is successfully matriculating in the Fall 2019. David has always had an interest in Business. He is planning to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and possibly get his MBA before he retires from the military in 5 years.
U.S. National Guard
Daniel joined the California Army National Guard in the February of 2016. The military gave Daniel structure and purpose. When he came back from boot camp, he got married and four months later he was activated for a deployment to the Middle East. Daniel spent 11 month overseas learning combat operations and cultural awareness. His unit supported both Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Spartan Shield. Daniel’s wife found ways to motivate him and keep him striving, including finding the Veterans Education Program to help get Daniel back into college. He was accepted into the 2018/2019 and was supposed to start in the August of 2018. Unfortunately, Daniel’s deployment got extended three weeks into the Fall semester. The instructors in the program worked with him to stay on top of his coursework. Daniel plans to pursue a degree in kinesiology after matriculating into Fresno State. He wants to become a teacher and a coach.
Gabriel Dos Anjos
Gabriel decided to enlist and served in the United States Navy for four years as an Aircraft Mechanic. Gabriel was deployed twice in support of operation Inherent Resolve where the Unites States military intervened against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. He lived on board of two different aircraft carriers for about a year and a half (i.e., USS Carl Vinson and USS Theodore Roosevelt). After leaving the service, he was looking for ways to continue his education in college. Gabriel met with the staff at the Fresno State Veterans Services office and they sent him to the Veterans Education Program. He was accepted in the VEP which has removed many hurdles he faced in order to enter Fresno State. He plans to use his newly acquired academic skills to be a successful student at Fresno State as an Electrical Engineering and a Computer Science Major.
Congratulations to our 2018 Cohort Graduates
"For veterans such as myself, it is really important to go back to school and the program provides a seamless transition. We have instructors that go out of their way to teach our classes and even volunteer their time to ensure we understand what we need to be successful at the next step in our journey through college. They are always there to help us in tough times, motivating us to work hard and guiding us when we are lost. For me, there is no greater opportunity than to go back to school to get my degree. That I am doing so alongside my brothers-in-arms makes this program all the more meaningful and let me assure you, the time and effort that goes into making the program what it is, is sincerely appreciated."
"The wonderful thing about this program is we have veterans constantly going out of their way to make sure we get what we need in order to achieve our goals. It is the comradery and respect displayed by the leadership that gives us the extra energy to press on."
"Half way through my deployment to Afghanistan while home on leave I realized that needed to find a better way to provide for my family. It was then that I decided it was time to finish my degree and find a solid career that would pay the bills and allow me to be home with my family. The Veterans Education Program helps us transition from military life to student life. The program completely guides us through the process of getting into the university and provides us with everything that we need to be successful."
"Transitioning from active duty military life, to the academic life is no easy task. The program is a miraculous opportunity for me. The program has provided me with all the resources to succeed, from the computer lab to the academic assistance required to matriculate into Fresno State. As a result of the program I have also built the confidence to attend school. The Veterans Education Program is there to help and give a well deserving veteran a second chance. The helpful staff will get you squared away and ready to prevail in academia."
U.S. Air Force
"The Fresno State Veterans Education Program has allowed me to enter a door I thought was closed. The past two semesters have been an amazing experience; the instructors are top quality and they guide you down your path towards matriculation. The program provides everything you need to excel; small classrooms, direct contact with your instructors, books, and any additional classroom materials that will help you matriculate. I feel truly blessed to be a part of such an incredible program. Thank you!"
U.S. Air Force
"The constant support of my fellow cohort members and the prior graduates of the program have assisted me in overcoming any obstacles in my way. The program awakened my intellectual mindset and prepared me for transitioning into the larger population. I take great pride and feel privileged to be a part of this one of a kind program. It instills the value that Fresno State as well as the community take in Veterans."
"Leaving the military was one of the scariest decisions I have made my whole life. However, thanks to the Veteran Education Program, my transition into the civilian and college life has been very easy. I never thought that college would be an option for me due to how hard it seemed, but after the classes that I have taken in this program, it seems that a bachelor’s degree with a 3.5+ GPA is very reachable. I wish that all colleges would provide this type of program for veterans who are interested in college. This is really one of the greatest things ever to happen in both my academic career and life as well."
Congratulations to our 2017 Cohort Graduates
U.S. Air Force
"The veterans education program is a blessing and quite frankly, a miracle. The program provides a seamless transition to civilian education by providing top notch instructors, who are willing to work with all students' unique capacities and are motivated to take each student to the next level. This dedication to the individual is only made possible through the unmatched student to instructor class ratio, exclusive to the Veterans Program. This program is unlike any other and to the uninformed, would sound far too good to be true. The hard working people behind the scenes that have paved the path to attain success do not go unnoticed and are deeply appreciated. The Veteran's Education Program has provided the student with the coveted opportunity to be relieved of financial stressors and other pending obstacles, being a part of a camaraderie like no other, and achieve academic greatness alongside fellow brothers in arms."
"Coming back from basic training, it was really excruciating trying to get a job and going back to school. After applying several times to Fresno State and not making the cut for some requirement failures, the veterans program reached out to me. This program has been really beneficial to me; two things stand out. One is the computer lab and lounge. I really can go in there and do some work using all the equipment they provided or just hang out. The other part that made this whole experience so real was receiving the Fresno state ID. By having that, I can use all the resources Fresno State has to offer. The bus transportation, book access, as well as student discounts. Thanks to this program I can continue advancing in my studies. I thank the program for all the support."
"This program has been a life changing experience for me. Leaving the military and attempting college was terrifying. I was unsure about being in an academic environment. I was unsure about my level of preparation. I was unsure if I could be successful in school. This program taught me how to overcome those mental hurdles and has instilled a level of confidence in me that is unprecedented. As I move forward, I feel there is no class that I can not succeed in. I owe all of my academic success to this program. From the support of the instructors, to the resources available, every veteran has the opportunity to succeed in the best veterans program in the country."
U.S. Coast Guard
"When so many other doors were closed, the Veterans Education Program opened their's to me. This program, and it's management, has given me a chance and opportunity to realize my full potential. I wish to respect this gift and make the best showing of how well I can do with all of its assistance."
"Straight out, this program is all about support. While in the military, it was never about the single soldier, we were a team, we were all dependent on each other. I have always felt this program has done an excellent job of bringing back that same feeling of unity."
"The Veterans Education Program has been a wonderful experience. It has given me a sense of comradery and unity that I have in the Army. It is a unique, beautiful, engaging experience that is just enough to show that there are people out there who actually care about veterans. I can't wait to see the future of this program with my own eyes."
"This program has helped me start my transition into college life as well as help me fit back into civilian life after the military. In a sense, this program with the support they provide, has given me a second chance at my goals and aspirations. I have the upmost respect to those who have made this program into what it is and I hope that it continues on in the future."
Congratulations to our 2016 Cohort Graduates
U.S. Navy Veteran
"I joined the U.S. Navy. I was an Aviation Electrician while in the Navy. I worked on the Bombing and Navigation Computer of FA-18. I spent nine months in Operation Desert Storm. I always wanted to go to college, but didn't think it was possible at this time. Then I heard about the Veterans Education Program being offered at Fresno State. I couldn't believe this university was offering me a way to come to this university and get my education/degree. The first day of class is when I knew this was real. This program has given me a new sense of pride; my family and friends are so proud of me being able to have an opportunity to get my degree. This program has given me a better opportunity to promote even further in my career."
"The Veterans Education Program has done so much for me. First of all, if it weren't for this program I wouldn't be here. The Veterans Education Program gave me the opportunity to fulfill one of my dreams, which was to attend college. I have learned so many things here. I got the opportunity to know what I was capable of. I learned that after thirteen years being out of school I am able to complete work that I didn't think I was able to do. It was hard but I got through it. Expanded my thoughts about college. I really felt like it opened doors for me because I am soon going to be a part of Fresno State." Overall, it really made a difference coming across the Veterans Education Program because without them I wouldn't be fulfilling my dreams of one day becoming a student at Fresno State. The Veterans Education Program helped me prepare for college and for what is to come."
"This program was very beneficial. Understanding how to be a student, how to interact with professors, and how to properly engage myself in the material was some of my biggest concerns. Moving forward, my confidence has skyrocketed. The time in this program has fully prepared me to continue my education and succeed at a level I had previously thought impossible."
U.S. Air National Guard
"To me, the Veterans Education Program is my second chance to improve my life. Due to my occupation in the military, I have been in and out of college. My educational endeavors have been hindered numerous times. Now that my life and work is more stable, being able to enroll in Fresno State is a welcomed change. I will do my best to make everyone, and the program proud. You guys are the real heroes.”
"Becoming a single parent at a young age, managing school, full-time work, along with raising a child made life very challenging. Struggling with life, I knew something had to give- my education. Over the years, I tried to continue my education, only to finally submit to defeat and close the door to a future education. The Veterans Program has opened the door for me and has rekindled my dream of an education. When I discovered there was a program to help veterans like myself, my heart was overwhelmed with excitement; that a dream that was no longer attainable, came to life. This program is giving me the opportunity to have an education and a more successful future.”
U.S. Army National Guard
"When I signed on the dotted line, I imagined fighting for my family, my home, the central valley, and my country. Now after being enlisted for nearly three years something I never expected happened; my community is fighting back for me. My future would not be possible if it weren't for the Veterans Education Program and all of it's contributors and supporters. This is one of the first and biggest of many steps toward a promising future. Thank you."
Congratulations to our 2013 Cohort Graduates
P. Diane Chaffee
U.S. Air Force Veteran
“This program has been like waking up to life again with a better hope for the future.”
Accomplishments: Diane has recently been accepted to California State University, Fresno.
Iantha H. Hutchinson
U.S. Army Veteran
“I knew the Veterans Education Program was going to be terrific, and it was! I was very impressed with the thoughtfulness and caring of our professors, they were extremely open and generous with their time and expertise.”
Accomplishments: Iantha graduated from California State University, Northridge, with a B.S. in Genetic Counseling.
Tasia Sache Roddy
Army National Guard Veteran
“I love it! It has provided so much more than I originally anticipated. We received
top of the line instruction from Fresno State professors who always had time for any
of our questions; I am very grateful for all their time and instruction. Because of
the Veterans Education Program, I am able to successfully move on to better and bigger
Accomplishments: Tasia has recently been employed by AMVETS. She wants to continue her education by receiving her A.A. in International Business and Global Communications at Willow International and eventually pursue a degree in Graphic Design as well as a M.B.A.
Vivian B. Richards
U.S. Marine Corps Veteran
“As a result of the Veterans Education Program, I am more eager and excited about moving forward and completing my business degree.”
Accomplishments: Vivian was able to take online courses at the same time as participating in the Veterans Education Program and is currently preparing applications to finish her degree.
U.S. Air Force Veteran
“The Veterans Education Program helps other vets connect in a classroom environment and is a blessing that adds an opportunity for others that may be weary of starting or continuing their education and social activities.”
Accomplishments: After returning from 4 combat deployments, a big achievement for Mike has been returning to an educational and social setting. Mike excelled at helping his fellow student veterans and often helped them with technology on campus. Mike plans on attending college in the near future.
Veteran's Executive Director Daniel Bernard with the five graduates!