Dear Sentinels Program Administrators and Sponsors,
I am extremely blessed and grateful that I gained the support of SOF during my educational journey. The subsidy payments allowed my educational progress to be uninterrupted by a 40-hour workweek and really let me excel in my studies. I graduated with a 3.97 cumulate GPA for my degree and this was explicitly possible due to the SOF Bridge for Education program. While on this program and enrolled in full-time school, I was able to concentrate on my homework, papers, and exams without the worry of making ends meet for my family. Another aspect extremely close and important to me is my time I spend serving my church and volunteering in the community. The SOF program also allowed me to continue to lead my small group, serve the community once a month, lead our church’s youth group and continue to volunteer as my church’s lead audio engineer twice a week.
During these unprecedented times of COVID-19, the SOF program also allowed me the freedom to be home for my children during their hybrid learning schedules. If I did not receive support from SOF, my children would be behind in school as I would not be available to help them through their studies due to the need to work to support my family.
The most difficult aspect in transitioning from active duty military to civilian life are financial challenges and mental challenges. Having served in the military for almost 10 years, I had a great routine and grasp on my daily duties. When I separated, I felt like I had little support although I was prepared for this new journey SOF’s moral support and availability of mentors are great assets to the SOF Bridge for Education Program. When everything in life seems new and different, SOF stepped in, even just being a phone call or email away, I knew I had the support that understood the position I was in and could guide me through stressful times.
Now that I have graduated with a degree in Business Administration, I will continue to invest in residential and business rental properties. What I have learned through my degree will help me manage my properties, keep accurate accounts of the finances, and hopefully gain financial independence through smart investing, efficient management, and keeping that business mindset that school has taught me. I am blessed to have a self-paced and light work schedule to continue to be home for my children, church, and neighbors when a need arises.
Through the SOF program, I have learned that I can also support people through their journey using the skills I know or can learn. SOF is a great asset and helps disabled veterans reach their educational goals. I’ve learned that education is very important but having outside support is equally important. I am learning that spending time with my family and helping friends is important but also giving back to others using what I have learned through my educational and spiritual journey will pay it forward just as SOF has paid it forward to me.