College for Heroes Helps Veterans go from Boots to Books

BY Amanda Sotelo

Texas State Technical College will be hosting College for Heroes, a day dedicated to veterans to help them go from boots to books.

The event will be held Monday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the TSTC Cultural Arts Center and is being hosted to further educate veterans and their dependents on the programs, benefits and resources available to them at TSTC.

“Our veterans have done so much for us, they’ve sacrificed a lot and TSTC appreciates their service,” said TSTC Vice President of College Readiness Javier Deleon. “That’s why we’ve created this day solely for veterans and their families. It’s our turn to do our part and take care of them.”

The goal of the event is to provide veterans and their families who are interested in a post-secondary education or are wanting to return to college after time away with information and resources needed to help them get on a career track.

“Many times we hold recruitment events or student orientations that are for an array of people from different walks of life,” said Deleon. “But this event is tailored to veterans and their families. We want to take the initiative and be the college that reaches out so they can receive all the information they need. We don’t want them to miss out on a college education.”

College for Heroes Day will also consist of workshops presented by admissions, financial aid and the TSTC Veterans Center. Followed by lunch and station visits with veteran community outreach organizations such as the Vet Mobile Unit, Cameron County Veteran Service Office, VA Suicide Prevention and Texas Veterans Commission, among many others.

One-on-one tours of the college and its 40 programs will also be available for veterans and their families.

“TSTC faculty and staff always aim to have one-on-one time with prospective and current students,” said Ashley Contreras, College for Heroes Day event coordinator. “This event was designed to be focused primarily on veterans and their families having that one-on-one time they need and deserve.”

Statewide, veterans and their dependents make up a significant part of TSTC’s student population. According to numbers from TSTC’s Veterans Center Director Steve Guevara, there are 835 veterans and their dependents enrolled using GI Bill or Hazelwood benefits at the 10 TSTC campuses. Of these 835 students, 256 are at Harlingen’s TSTC campus.

“On College for Heroes Day, we’ll be available to answer any questions returning or new veteran students may have regarding benefits or the process they have to take to enroll at TSTC,” said Guevara. “This is a one-stop shop for them.”

The Veterans Center, alongside the Veteran Students Alliance Club, are active all year in assisting veterans and their dependents with admission and benefits processes, including advisement, providing internal and external resources and outreach programs, and scholarships.

TSTC’s Waco campus will also be hosting College for Heroes Day on April 21. Approximately, 422 veterans and their dependents are enrolled at that campus.

“All of these men and women and their families have sacrificed so much for our country,” said Deleon. “We want them to know we appreciate it and this is our way of saying thank you and doing our part in providing something back to them.”

If You Go

The College for Heroes Day event is free and open to any veteran or his/her dependent. To RSVP or for more information, call TSTC’s Veterans Center at 956-364-4385.