Nonprofit Warrior-Scholar Project helps veterans transition from military to civilian life

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Saturday, August 26, 2023
Nonprofit helps veterans transition into their new lives as students
Stepping into a college campus can be challenging for some veterans. But nonprofit Warrior-Scholar Project is helping them transition from military to civilian life.

IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- Every year, thousands of soldiers transition from military to civilian life. Many of them choose to go back to school, but this transition can be difficult for veterans. Fortunately, there are resources available to help veterans navigate their new lives as students.

Pursuing a higher education is a big step for any student. For veterans acclimating to civilian life - stepping onto on a college campus for the first time is a critical step to their future careers after the military.

That's where the Warrior-Scholar project comes in.

"They kind of frame this as a crash course, like how you would have a finals week or an extremely intense intellectual boot camp," said veteran Aaron J.H.

It's preparation for an environment they may not be used to. Combat veteran Aaron J.H. is already studying at Harvard - but he needed this.

"That's why I think everyone should get some sort of help because it was so difficult for me at the beginning, where do you go? Just out, just deal with the world?" he said.

These Warrior-Scholar Project fellows we spoke to are veterans as well who also went through the program.

"They've experienced a little bit of anxiety, fatigue but they've also had some really uncomfortable but progressive conversations in the classroom," said Terrion Thirsty.

"We start around 8:45 in the morning and go until 10 or 11 o'clock at night," said Britney Domine.

This camp was held recently at UCI. Others were held this summer at Caltech and USC - proof the training is needed.

Each year, about 115,000 veterans transition from the military to the classroom. Since the first boot camp more than a decade ago, this program has helped more than 2,000 veterans get a head start in higher education.