Colleges Recognize Military Service of Student and Alumni Veterans

Veterans Programs Key to Student Success and Career Achievement

The Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC) today recognized the approximately 1,100 veterans who are attending college and pursing various degrees on member campuses across the state.

“Veterans Day, November 11, is a day to remember and pay tribute to our men and women who have served in uniform,” said Donna Stelling-Gurnett, president and CEO of the Association of Proprietary Colleges. “APC member colleges have always sought to make a quality college education more affordable and attainable for veterans – and to ease their transition from the military to civilian life and work.”

APC member institutions offer scholarships, counseling, benefit delivery assistance, and a variety of other services to support the highest dreams of deserving student veterans. For instance, Berkeley College collaborates with the National Guard, the Army and the Air Force, the GoArmyEd distance learning program, and the navy College Program Distance Learning Partnership.

To assist student veterans, The College of Westchester coordinates a Veterans Advisory Council made of up regional veteran’s originations and participates in the Post-9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program, making up to $5,000 in additional funds available for a student veteran’s education program.

Bryant & Stratton College also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program and has affirmed their support for the “8 Keys to Veterans’ Success,” a voluntary initiative through the U.S. Departments of Education, Veterans Affairs, and Defense. The 8 Keys are steps that postsecondary institutions can take to assist veterans and service members in transitioning to higher education, completing their college programs, and obtaining career-ready skills.

To help its nearly 250 student-veterans, Monroe College is hosting a Department of Veteran Affairs mobile vet center on its Bronx campus one day a week. The mobile unit is equipped with confidential counseling space and a state of the art communication package to enable veterans to receive in-person and telehealth medical care and treatment, as well as family support, mental health counseling, substance abuse assessment and referral, and VA benefits explanation and referral, among other comprehensive programs and services.

Today APC member institutions pay tribute to the following remarkable veteran students and graduates:

  • Joshua Cosme, Veteran, E-4 Specialist United States Army/Student, Jamestown Business College

Joshua has the distinction of witnessing the events that form the basis of National Geographic’s TV series, “The Long Road Home.”  Joshua is currently completing his bachelor’s degree in Business Management at Jamestown Business College (JBC), and plans to pursue a master’s degree. He respectfully credits JBC for helping him reintegrate into civilian life, which has enabled him to coach his son’s little league team as well as helping his fellow veterans by getting them involved with organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project and the local PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Program.

  • Mary Fuentes, Veteran, Staff Sergeant United States Army/Student, Monroe College

Staff Sergeant Mary Fuentes and her husband, John Samudio, fell in love in the United States Army. After devoting 11 years to her country, Mary decided to return to civilian life so she could be home with their daughter, Brooklyn. Yet, Mary still wanted to give back and help her fellow veterans. That’s when she enrolled in Monroe College’s Hospitality Program. Once her bachelor’s degree is complete, the pair plan to start their own business providing meals to needy veterans.

  • Jonathan Phelps: Veteran, E-4 Corporal United States Marine Corp/Student, Bryant and Stratton College, Greece Campus

Jonathan was stationed in Japan when the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami of 2011 hit. Surviving the quake, which took the lives of thousands of people across Japan, he aided a countless number of families displaced by this natural disaster. Once back home in Rochester, NY, Jonathan’s primary objective was to receive a college degree. And he quickly determined that Bryant & Stratton College provided a clear path to that goal. Jonathan is currently studying business at Bryant & Stratton College in Greece campus and will received his Bachelor’s degree in December 2017.

  • Kevin Gammel: Veteran, United States Air Force/Graduate, Elmira Business Institute (EBI)

After 20 years with the United States Air Force, Kevin decided it was time to pursue a degree in Business Management. Having moved to the Elmira area to be closer to family, EBI was the perfect fit. So perfect in fact that his wife, Tamme, decided to attend EBI as well. Receiving his associate degree in Small Business Management from EBI was just the beginning for Kevin. He has since gone on to receive his bachelor’s in Business Administration and is currently working on his master’s in business. Following her father’s example, Kevin’s daughter Katie is currently enrolled at EBI.

“Having served our nation with honor and courage, our student veterans deserve every opportunity to succeed,” Stelling-Gurnett. “APC member institutions are committed to providing a quality education with the supports necessary to assist all our student veterans as they navigate their way towards obtaining a degree and finding a rewarding career.”