FWDB Veteran Success Stories

Kelvin

Meet Kelvin

Kelvin’s military service helps him define his future goals, and the FWDB VEAP program helps him access resources to enter college and earn his bachelors degree.

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Kelvin, a Georgia native, had many family members who had served in the U.S. military. After high school, he was unsure of the course of study he wanted to pursue in college, and felt called to “serve a purpose greater than himself.” In the Air Force, Kelvin trained as an aircraft mechanic, maintaining C-17 aircraft at Travis AFB in California.  As a member of the 860th AMXS he was part of a maintenance team that was awarded the Air Force’s Most Outstanding Unit Award twice. Kelvin, an environmental and electrical specialist, was responsible for all electrical components on the plane, and also all the life support systems such as oxygen regulation and cabin pressurization systems. Kelvin also deployed to southwest Asia to work with military from other nations. After his enlistment was complete, Kelvin enlisted in the Reserve as a medical logistics agent stationed at March ARB, CA, and decided to pursue higher education.

With the help of Foothill WDB, Kelvin enrolled in the Veterans Employment Assistance Program (VEAP). He recently completed his transfer requirements at Pasadena Community College, and will be transferring to California State University of Northridge to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business law. Kelvin continues to set goals for himself, planning to pursue a law degree at UCLA after completing his current studies move into a career as a corporate attorney.  He also wants to continue his military service in the reserves, working as a JAG in the Air Force Reserve. His military service helped him define his goals, and the FWDB VEAP program is helping him on the path to attaining them.

Kevin

Meet Kevin

Vets-to-Nurses program supports former combat medic Kevin in obtaining the training he needs to prepare for the CA State Nursing Board exam and work as a civilian nurse.

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Kevin completed a four-year college degree, but chose to enlist in the military after losing a childhood friend in Iraq in 2008.  Kevin had his sights set on becoming a combat medic, and ended up joining the Navy and training as a Hospital Corpsman. In this role, Kevin was trained in patient care in a hospital setting at Fort Sam Houston (San Antonio, TX), but eventually received combat medical care training at Camp Pendleton. Kevin integrated into a Marine Corps combat unit, learning combat skills and also administering emergency and first responder care to wounded sailors and marines on the battlefield. Having achieved his goal, Kevin realized that the health care field was where he wanted to pursue civilian employment once he separated from the military.

Through Foothill WDB, Kevin was co-enrolled in the Veteran Employment Assistance Program (VEAP) as well as the Vets-to-Nurses program. Through VEAP, Kevin is obtaining his associates degree in nursing at Pasadena City College so that he can become a registered nurse through Vets-to-Nurses. After passing the State of California Nursing Board, Kevin plans to finish a Bachelor degree in nursing and gain more experience before pursuing his goal of becoming a physician assistant.

Meet Vince

VEAP program helps Vince get back on his feet and access technical training that helps him find civilian employment.

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Vince Baynard, a United States Marine Corps veteran, was going through a difficult time. He was divorced; he couldn’t see his daughter often because he didn’t have a bus pass; he’d recently received an eviction notice, and had been unemployed for quite some time. Specialized training, which costs money, was completely out of the question. Vince came to the Foothill WDB for assistance and was enrolled in the Veterans Employment Assistance Program (VEAP).  The Veteran Navigator coordinated services from several agencies to help Vince get back on his feet.  Vince received a bus pass and temporary assistance with his rent, and he began specialized training at Integrated Digital Technology to learn networking and information technology skills. Vince worked extremely hard to secure a temporary job and now is a full-time employee at Methodist Hospital of Southern California’s Information Technology department – the only one who wears a shirt and tie every day.

Vince shared, “I want to thank all those involved in helping me. I am finally able to apply my efforts and work toward more than 'just barely surviving'. There were many entities that were there for me when I was in need of assistance. I can now earn an income and put money toward things that mean the most to me like providing for my little girl, saving for taking vacations together, living expenses, and charity. Now, I feel like a 'contributing member of society' and most of all, I am showing my daughter the fruits of having faith in God, working hard and doing your best with making good decisions and following through.”