ON: Troops to College
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The Sacramento State Troops to college program provides scholarships and support services to veterans enrolled in the University.
(Narrator:) This is “Focus” from the campus of Sacramento State.
(Charles Caraway, Sacramento State student and veteran:) “Even for me it was extremely tough."
(Jim Finnerty reporting:) Charles Caraway is talking about his transition from military life to student life at Sacramento State. After four years in the Marines, that transition was aided by the University's "Troops to College" program.
(Caraway:) "By joining the organization, now I have friends on campus. I see people. I talk to people. The campus is like part of a wholesome area where I feel like part of the campus itself.”
(Finnerty:) Jeff Weston oversees the program. Veterans get help securing financial aid and find a social support network as well.
(Jeff Weston, Sacramento State Veterans’ Affairs coordinator:) "We're trying to form a welcoming environment for veterans. We're trying to attract veterans and make Sacramento State the campus they choose to come to."
(Finnerty:) Veterans and their dependents are also assisted by people like Austin Sihoe. After five years in the Navy, he draws upon his re-entry to help others adjust.
(Austin Sihoe, Sacramento State student and veteran:) "After being in the military, you're definitely given a different perspective on life, and you have a broader horizon."
(Weston:) "We help them with academic advising. We help them get their GI Bill started. All to make them feel the kind of camaraderie they did and were accustomed to in the service."
(Finnerty:) The program and social support take on added importance when students are sometimes recalled to active duty.
(Weston:) "We connect with that person before they leave so when they come back, they don't go through any hardships re-transitioning back into the university. Veterans are very successful here. They have very good GPAs. And it's really great to see them come back and talk to other students about, ‘This is how I did it.'”
(Finnerty:) This is Jim Finnerty reporting.
(Narrator:) For more information on this and other news from Sacramento State, visit our website.