I’m originally from Oakland, CA. I joined the Army in 2007 and was deployed to Baghdad. I’m currently a Social Science major at NLU and am tentatively considering working in government when I graduate.
What was the most challenging part about returning to civilian and academic life?
I’d say the hardest part is fitting back into society. I’m a combat veteran, and I don’t think I’ll ever fully fit in. I just think differently. As a veteran, I think about the group effort more than the individual one. I don’t see things from a self-serving perspective but more as how to help the team.
Why did you select NLU?
I actually attended an open house with my girlfriend, who was considering attending NLU. At the time, I was very unhappy with the college that I was attending. I wasn’t getting anything from the courses or curriculum and felt like I was not getting enough in return for my tuition. My mom also is pursuing her Ph.D. at NLU, so I knew the University had a strong reputation.
How did you learn about NLU’s Veterans Program?
To be honest, I didn’t know much about it at first. I had heard about the Veterans Lounge on campus and decided to check it out one day. While I was there, I ran into Paul Knudtson, NLU’s Director of Armed Services Relations. He asked me about my background and immediately showed interest in helping me. I mentioned that I was looking for a job, and he helped me find one through the federal work-study program. I now work in the Veterans Lounge as a supervisor. At first, there weren’t a lot of veterans using the space, but now there are many who come to use the computers, connect with other veterans, study, etc.
How has NLU’s Veterans Program helped you, as a veteran military student, the most?
I think it’s given me something to do, a network to be a part of. You hear people talk a lot about the importance of networking. However, if you don’t know people, who do you talk to? The Veterans Program has helped connect me with other veterans and veteran resources. I just joined the NLU Student Veterans of America Chapter.
What should other potential veteran students know about NLU that they might not already know?
I think the Veterans Lounge is a great place and a good way to connect with others. It’s also really important to know that NLU’s Veterans Program is very flexible and helps you really make the most of your veteran benefits. A lot of veterans programs are out there to help those in extreme circumstances. I think NLU’s program is focused on helping professionals earn a degree and find a job. There are a lot of great people (students and faculty) in this program and I’m proud to be connected with them.