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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Veterans Club offers help and resources for members at SBCC

Kevin Ham
Raytheon employees speak to City College students who are also US veterans on their options and best routes to take when graduating from school and applying for jobs on Friday, April 12, 2019, in the Student Services Building Room 208 at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Whether it’s providing on-campus resources, a sense of community, or just having fun outside of the classroom, the City College’s Veterans Club strives to become a centerpiece of the student veteran experience.

“It can be really hard to reintegrate into society,” said Club President Paul Ferretti. “It got me socializing again with like-minded people.”

Ferretti experienced the common notion of feeling out of place from society when he left the U.S. Marines.

After moving to Santa Barbara and enrolling at City College, he, and 17 other veterans converged to form the club in Fall 2017, and now meets every first Friday of the month.

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The club has maintained a goal to provide a sense of community and a support system for its members while creating a welcoming environment for incoming student veterans and their dependents.

U.S. Air Force veteran Mike Lee does more than just finding like-minded individuals and friends. He has found resources to assist him with the academic hurdles that come with majoring in mechanical engineering through faculty advisor and veteran Joseph Swearngin.

“Once the club started I did feel more connected,” said Lee. “I would not have met some of the people I talk to if it wasn’t for the vet club.”

U.S. Air Force veteran Megan Lee’s approach to helping fellow members is by connecting them to services that are being offered at City College through The Well.

For Lee though, sharing her every day struggles at the meetings have had a very “positive impact” in her overall impression.

“It’s great to be able to go to the meetings on Fridays and simply let things off your chest,” said Megan Lee. “It’s a melting pot of unique individuals that are very fun to be around and are very encouraging.”

The club also aids in the tedious transfer process by providing them with tools when members move on to a university or decide to rejoin the workforce.

Such resources have come in collaboration with defense contractor Raytheon, who holds resume building workshops to help veterans acquire jobs within their company.

“It’s a group of leaders that understand each other without even speaking,” said U.S. Navy veteran Christian Wicklein, complimenting the resources that help assist veterans and their dependents. “I think that is unique on campus.”

Wicklein is motivated to constantly stay involved within the inner workings of the club and community. He aspires to be club president in the coming academic year and maintains a “moving forward together” attitude.

“I want the club to be the feature of coming to SBCC for veterans,” said Wicklein.

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