Fullerton College’s Veterans Resource Center hosted its inaugural Veterans Career and Resource Fair on Tuesday, April 7 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the campus quad. Nearly 50 organizations were present to connect veterans and dependents of veterans to services offered within the surrounding community. The free event was open to all veterans and not limited to students.
Participating groups included U.S. Foods, OC OneStop Center, CalVets, and the Wounded Warrior Project. Additionally, numerous Fullerton College departments hosted information tables, including STEM and student affairs, to offer on-campus support and resources available to all students.
Aghabi Khalil, project coordinator at the Veterans Resource Center, created this event in response to her own experience enrolling in college following her service in the Navy. After her honorable discharge, she encountered many obstacles in her reintegration process.
“I know from my first-hand experience how difficult it can be to find all the services available,” Khalil said. “This event will pull together all the key services the college has to offer, plus community organizations dedicated to helping veterans be successful.”
One of the many company services provided at the event was Child Guidance Center, a non-profit organization aimed at helping parents and children repair relationships. Founded in 1967 by a group of concerned parents and mental health professionals, CGC helps children and parents throughout Orange County achieve healthier, better balanced lives.
“We are a collaborative group that specifically provides what is called, ‘the focus therapy,’ which is an eight week term program that tries to repair the relationships between the service member, the spouse and the children,” said Lissete Diaz a representative for CGC.
Fullerton College was not the only college with a resource center booth set up at the event. Cal State, Los Angeles was in attendance to advocate the recent grand opening of their resource center in November of 2013. The Veterans Resource Center at Cal State, Los Angeles now serves hundreds of student veterans including active duty service members, reservists and dependents of veterans.
Numerous active duty service members and veterans gathered at the resource fair including Vietnam veteran, Col. Joseph Snyder. Snyder was in attendance to advocate Torch 1975 Inc., a non-profit organization of which he is executive director. Snyder was in attendance with the organizations CEO Jessica Nguyen.
“There is a huge disconnect between the general public and those who serve in our nation’s wars,” Nguyen said. “Torch 1975 Inc. is the result of my desire to create an educational platform to address these problems. 1975 represents a critical turning point in a long and terrible war and the torch symbolizes bringing light to all the good that has been done and still needs to be done.”
More than 800 veterans and dependents of veterans attend Fullerton College with the number growing each semester.
Fullerton College’s Veterans Resource Center, located in room 518, acts as an on-campus resource providing workshops and events for student veterans year-round.
The center provides a study lounge, two part-time academic counselors for Student Educational Plans (SEPS), a fulltime certifying official, a mental health counselor courtesy of U.S. VETS, Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment counselors from Veterans Affairs and staff who are knowledgeable about GI Bill benefits.
The Veterans Resource Center is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon. Hours may vary depending on the needs of students.
For more information, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (714) 992-7102.