Crafton Hills College in Yucaipa, California opened a new Veterans Resource Center on Friday, Aug. 18. The center provides a dedicated location where veterans can get the support they need to transition to college and civilian life, including academic support, counseling and financial aid assistance, as well as a comfortable space to meet other veterans.
“Community college campuses are an integral and important part of a veteran’s reintegration in California,” said Dr. Vito Imbasciani, Secretary of the California Department of Veteran Affairs, who spoke at the grand opening event. “It helps tremendously to have knowledgeable people on campus to assist veterans in exploring their options.”
“Supporting veteran education is one of the favorite parts of my job leading CalVet because it has such a positive focus,” Imbasciani said. “Education is about hope, and promise, and growth.”
California Community Colleges have more student veterans in attendance than any other education system in the country. About 25,000 veterans settle in California every year and roughly 90 percent of those who decide to further their education choose a local community college over a four-year school.
Crafton Hills College President Wei Zhou noted the rich experiences and perspectives that veterans contribute to the learning community. “We are proud to help enhance their future by providing them with a quality education that will serve as a bridge between their military experience and career aspirations.”
“During our country’s history it has been proven time and time again that veterans are always a good investment,” said Crafton Hills College veterans coordinator Carla Thornton. “Veterans’ education benefits have been credited with creating the American middle class, and these benefits have transformed, not only our society and economy, but veterans’ lives as well.”
Students, elected officials, business leaders, members of the Crafton Hills College Foundation and Yucaipa Chamber of Commerce, and philanthropic supporters representing Bank of America, Ashley Furniture and Majestic Real Estate attended the event.