Fresno City College is our Featured Campus for November and December! “Fresno City College is doing a fantastic job at creating opportunities for their student veterans to connect and learn. They started a workshop series and have hosted events that focus on tips for communicating with professors and tips for managing school and personal life. They’ve reported seeing growth in the participation in their workshops. Additionally, the number of veterans that come into their office has grown since launching PAVE, and they report an uptick in positive connections with these students as well,” says Kali Lake, former Program Manager.
Fresno City College is in their first term launching PAVE, and their team consists of Team Leaders Larue Perkins and Kevin Robbins, Veterans Services Coordinator Sarah Klaas, Campus Champion Dr. Jaime Duran, and six Peer Advisors. They serve a population of about 550 student veterans.
With the increase in outreach and engagement with student veterans, the FCC PAVE team has also enjoyed seeing a growth in the opportunities to assist those students. “Our team has done a lot already in the short time we’ve been with PAVE,” says Sarah. In one instance, a student veteran’s bike was stolen, a bike they relied on for transportation. Their team worked together and collaborated with the Jacob Matthew Foundation to fundraise and buy them a new bike.
Peer Advisor Johnathan Cervantes encountered a student veteran who came into their center looking for work. Although the center didn’t have any jobs open at that time, Johnathan took note. After a representative from a Vet Center visited and told the center staff that he was looking for employees, Johnathan connected the student who’d been seeking work with that representative in order to pursue that employment opportunity.
Larue, a Team Leader, was able to assist a student veteran who was homeless, hungry, and ready to drop their classes. He helped the student get into housing, sign up for food assistance, get a job, and stay enrolled. Larue notes that this student’s whole life turned around for the better very quickly.
Dr. Duran credits much of the success of the FCC PAVE team so far to their structure: “We meet on a weekly basis and talk about how things are going, how the Peer Advisors are doing, how the interactions are going.” Their team cohesion and concerted efforts to reach out and assist higher numbers is paying off. Sarah says, “I’m proud of the effort this team puts in,” adding that at recent events, they’ve had great turnout, and “you could tangibly see the connection that our students were making with their Peer Advisors, and that’s led to increased interaction.”
Keep this great momentum going, Fresno City College!