Veterans Resource Center welcomes new students with orientation

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Jae Lee [right] and Glen Peña [left] talk about the various support programs the veterans resource center offers, Wednesday March 25. Photo credit: Sebastian Echeverry

Sebastian Echeverry, Managing/ News Editor

The Veterans Resource Center held an orientation for new student veterans to discuss all the support programs the VRC offers on Wednesday, March 25 at 11 a.m. in the Teleconference center.

There were approximately 26 attendees.

According to one of the speakers Glen Peña, there are 500 student veterans at Cerritos College.

That is 500 men and women that, according to Dean of Counseling and Veteran Services Renee DeLong Chomiak, have the shared challenge of transitioning from a soldier serving the United States on the battle field, to a student listening to lectures in a classroom.

“Some of our veterans have a reintegrating challenge, in which they transition from soldier life to civilian life,” Chomiak said.

She said that what makes Cerritos College’s VRC stand out is the fact that it acts as a one-stop-style of office.

“We have counseling services, tax services and child care assistance all under one roof, so [veterans] don’t have to go from building to building for help,” Chomiak said.

The VRC also has support from outside organizations like US VETS Long Beach, according to Chomiak.

The orientation discussed with veterans the importance of connecting and networking with helpful individuals that work in the VRC.

Peña said, “Something about veterans is that we don’t like to ask for help. That’s just the way we’ve been taught.”

Speakers at the orientation said that the VRC can also supply student veterans with textbooks and the correct equipment to tackle the classes on their educational plan.

Pedro Rodriguez Junior attended the orientation and said he found the VRC helpful.

He said, “There always seems to be a program or benefit we are always discovering.”