By Denali Norton
City College’s Veterans Resource Center in collaboration with the Athletics Department has put together a multitude of events spanning the week of Veterans Day for students and student veterans to enjoy.
vents early in the week included information briefings about services and benefits offered to veterans, a meet and greet with snacks, community-building and information about helpful resources for veterans. It was an opportunity for veterans to build back a sense of community coming out of the pandemic.
“We’re really a point of contact for veterans to give them the information they need to get their bearings straight,” said Brian Vargas, veteran and manager of the Veterans Resource Center.
During the week the center also hosted a job fair open to any students with several employers offering more information about their companies that included the Department of Veteran Affairs, Sam Trans, Amazon, the County of San Francisco, and many others.
“The Veterans Affairs office helps veterans find work and get back into the community which is really a thank you from the federal government for serving the country,” said a vocational rehabilitation counselor from the Veterans Affairs Department, Jane Santiago.
It was important to the resource center to offer many events throughout the week for the many veterans that commute an hour or two to school each day. Because of this, many student veterans block their classes together and only come to campus one day a week. Offering information sessions for most of the week made it easier for more student veterans to attend.
After being a part of the military being deployed or not veterans can struggle to transition into a classroom setting after being in a different environment with different ways of interacting with others.
“Veterans aren’t used to a classroom setting after being part of the military. The center helps them navigate that classroom setting,” Brian Vargas said
Since the pandemic, the center is trying to move more in the direction of in-person services and getting veterans back in the center to build a stronger sense of community. It also is aiming to connect veterans with resources to help them succeed after the military.
“The center has a lot of camaraderie among everyone because of our similar experiences,” said Ryan Young, a veteran and student worker for the Veterans Resource Center.
Thursday, the day before Veterans Day, the Center hosted a ceremony at the Ocean Campus, honoring veterans that included student speaker Jason Skerik and a guest speaker, Marine Veteran, Maurice Delmer. For the end of the week, the center encouraged students to come out to cheer on the City College football team at their home game on Friday.