Veterans gather for mixer, discuss resources available on campus

The+veterans+center+is+up+for+renovations+and+will+be+ready+next+year+with+a+new+and+finished+look.+

Vincent Medina

The veterans center is up for renovations and will be ready next year with a new and finished look.

Lily Marmolejo, News Editor

The kickoff to Cerritos College veterans week was the Veterans Past and Present Virtual Mixer attended by Cerritos College faculty and former students who got together via zoom on Nov 8. to share their experiences in education as veterans.

The event was hosted by Cerritos College counselor Felipe Salazar. He and many of the other participants encourage students to seek out resources on campus at the Veteran Resource Center, to form an education plan while attending the college.

The veteran resource center is located between the bookstore and student center.

Cerritos Community College is currently offering college police veterans appreciation patches to individuals that make a donation. All donations will be donated to the Veteran Resource Center’s Student Scholarship Fund.
Cerritos Community College is currently offering college police veterans appreciation patches to individuals that make a donation. All donations will be donated to the Veteran Resource Center’s Student Scholarship Fund. Photo credit: Lily Marmolejo

“We want more student veterans to become aware that Cerritos is a destination location, ” said Dr. Lui Amador Dean of student equity and success, “If you have any kind of positive experience by all accounts our student veterans seem to have that with the V.R.C [veteran resource center] and Cerritos we would love for you to encourage prospective students to come.”

The V.R.C. is currency undergoing a small renovation. Plans for it will be finished sometime next-year.

Students from all over the state tuned in for the event and were excited to catch up with one another, meet other veterans and tell their story.

“The best thing I probably ever did was go to Cerritos because that’s where I ended up meeting a lot of you on the call and I was able to build a lot of close friendships,” said former student Raul Villasenor.

Many of the individuals attending the meeting shared similar feelings towards their peers. A majority of students chose this college over others due to location once they had left their branches of service.

Cerritos College veterans week events for the upcoming days, open to all students and staff.
Cerritos College veterans week events for the upcoming days, open to all students and staff. Photo credit: Cerritos College

“What I did find at Cerritos was a great environment and a great community that even to this day it’s been six years since I was here but I still get around with some of the guys that I met there and went to school there with,” said a former student business administration major and veteran.

Former student and veteran Brandon Childers shared information with his peers on financial fitness along with resources for them to learn how to manage their money. Freelance Corporal is a website designed to help veterans using a cognitive-behavioral approach to improve money management.

Advice was shared throughout the meeting. Students suggested to their peers that they create a Linkedin account. There is a special link to receive a special one-year premium for veterans.

Former students shared their gratitude for the camaraderie they experienced and how they periodically always had mental health counselors available to students for one-on-one help whether it be with academic or personal distress. Former students were especially grateful for their tutors as well.

Participants got ready for the first round of profiling pictures of students from Cerritos College in a game called "Can you Guess Right?".
Participants got ready for the first round of profiling pictures of students from Cerritos College in a game called “Can you Guess Right?”. Photo credit: Lily Marmolejo

Veterans also gave advice on how to deal with PTSD from their time in service along with sharing what they do to cope.

During the event there was also a game potion for participants called, “Can you guess right?,” The game’s objective was to profile pictures and guess whether or not the person in the picture was a veteran or not.