Jessica didn’t know for sure what she wanted to do after high school, so because her family had a military history, she enlisted in the United State Army where during her four years of service she was deployed twice to Afghanistan. After she was honorably discharged, she realized that she now had more of a focus and a plan and was ready to go to college. With the help of the GI Bill she enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, majoring in psychology. Her goal is to become a mental health professional working for the Department of Veterans Affairs. She graduates in 2022.
Jessica has excelled in the classroom and has taken on leadership responsibilities through a leadership position with the University’s Student Veterans of America (SVA) club chapter as well as a campus job in Blugold Central. Returning to college as a nontraditional student, Jessica initially felt a little out of place, behind her peers and struggled to meet others with similar backgrounds. Now in her second year at UW-Eau Claire, she feels more comfortable on campus and is thriving both academically and socially. She credits much of her success at UW-Eau Claire to the resources and support she receives through the UW-Eau Claire Veterans Center located in the garden level of Schofield Hall. The Veterans Center provides a gathering place and study space for students who have served their country. Students connect over a cup of complimentary coffee and find solace in sharing stories about their military experiences.
Since most of our veteran students do not live on campus, the Center is their “home away from home” during the school week. Jessica and many other students have said that they would not have had the same experience on campus without a gathering space like the Veterans Center.
Pictured below: Members of Veterans Club with the flags posted near the footbridge in observance of Veterans Day