Bryce Fraser, writer
American River College has about 1300 veterans attending its campus and is one of the largest veteran populations in the state within community colleges and universities. The Veterans Affairs center is the only school in the district to offer Wrap around services for its veteran students, according to Daniel Avegalio Student Services Supervisor at Veterans Resource Center.
“They created my position recently back in October as a supervisor to oversee the program because the need was there based off of our numbers,” said Avegalio.
In 2014 The Chancellor’s Student Success Award was given to the American River college Veterans Resource Center for it’s one a one-stop service center for student veterans, originally reported in an article in the Sacramento Bee by Loretta Kalb.
The Veterans Affairs Center on campus offers students help with issues such as Veterans Benefits, the registration and application process at American River College, counseling, and other issues as well.
The Veterans Affairs Center center contains their very own computer lab where Veterans can go to do homework and study in, as well as print for free at the lab. There are eight computers available. “A lot of vets come in they feel at home because it’s a space for them,” said Avegalio.
They are fully staffed with student help who are VA work study students. They are all veterans, or family members of veterans, who are receiving Veterans benefits in some way themselves and understand the process of receiving those benefits, according to Avegalio.
Student Personnel Assistant, Robert Heryford has recently been hired and explained that his own experience transferring to Sac State can help American River College students who are transferring because he understands their situation.
Heryford understands how hard it is to transition back to civilian life and going to school.
“It’s a whole other ballgame when you’re coming back from working in that type of field and your back sitting in a classroom,” said Heryford.
The services offered at the American River College Veterans Affairs Center has helped ARC Student Honglu Johnson with getting classes and figuring out what to take as well as getting her military benefits.
“It’s a Nightmare getting Your benefits and your benefit packets they did all that for me, said Johnson “They’re super organized about it,” said Honglu.
The Veterans Affairs center moved to a larger space as recently as last Fall Semester. “Other schools in the district have Veteran Resource Centers but its very small closet like, said Avegalio.