Recently, a CFC-funded organization ran immersive college preparatory programs for service members transitioning from the military to college. Samantha, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, was one of the participants at Georgetown University. This is her story.
A little over a year ago, Samantha encountered a crossroads that inevitably all service members must face – what would she do now that her active duty tenure had ended?
As an Arabic linguist in the Marine Corps, Samantha had learned a useful skill and was able to use it extensively. She was good at her job, she was confident, and by and large, she had a positive enlistment. What made the most sense to her was going back to school.
Though Samantha was excited to embark on a new journey, especially since she had wanted to return to school for quite some time, she found the idea of being back in the classroom daunting. She was nervous, but fortunately, she learned about the organization’s college preparatory program.
While waiting to hear back from colleges, Samantha applied to the program and was admitted to the course held at Georgetown University. There, alongside over a dozen other veterans, she was taught all manner of strategies ranging from how to tackle reading large bodies of work, to effectively writing a persuasive essay.
The course was only a week long, but during those few days, she came to understand herself as a student. She learned that being back in the classroom would indeed be difficult and maybe a little bit painful, but she also learned to not sell herself short.
In the last year since participating in the program and being accepted into Columbia University, Samantha has made the dean’s list and been called upon to be a leader in the university community. She is currently working at a competitive internship.
“… Somewhere between initial training and transitioning into academia, many veterans feel that they cannot perform at top-tier universities,” Samantha says. “I have proven that notion to be untrue… I am an example and not an exception of what veterans are capable of in the academic arena given opportunity and guidance."