For many, this time of year seems to be mostly about food and what’s being served for Thanksgiving dinner. But for students and faculty members at the Salt Lake Community College Meadowbrook Campus, it’s not about being served; it’s about serving. That’s because roughly 12 percent of students and 80 percent of faculty at Meadowbrook are military veterans.
“When I walk down the hall and pass another veteran at Meadowbrook, I just know,” says Nicole Barnes, an SLCC student and Navy veteran. “I feel I belong better here.”
Nicole Barnes receives disability benefits that help pay for her education. She is enrolled in a Computer A+ Certification Program housed at Meadowbrook. The program is available in the SLCC School of Applied Technology (SAT). Certificates earned through the SAT help students get good jobs.
Herb Davis is an army man and a master sergeant. Though retired from the military now, Davis continues to serve veterans by ensuring they are recognized for their dedication to America.
On Veterans Day this year, Davis took action on an idea that had been discussed for years; hold a flag raising ceremony at Meadowbrook on Veteran’s Day.
“I wanted to hold a ceremony here because we have a lot of vets,” says Davis. “Holding it here would allow more vets to actually participate personally.”
Davis, adjunct faculty in the SAT Microsoft Service & Support program, arranged for free cake, popcorn and water for veterans that day. He even recruited his wife to help.
Davis also orchestrated the ceremony including asking the youngest veteran, Erica Barnes, and oldest veteran, George Lange, at Meadowbrook to raise the American flag.
Lange is a member of the American Legion and is SLCC faculty in the SAT Refrigeration & Air Conditioning program. James Cantrell, who credits Lange for his success, is currently a SAT adjunct faculty member. He is also a former master sergeant in the army.
When Cantrell found out that retirement wasn’t his speed, he signed-up for courses in the SAT Air Conditioning/Heating/Refrigeration Program and not only completed the program but also received an internship at Questar Gas – the first internship ever offered through the program.
“The one thing the community can do to help veterans is just to remember us,” says Cantrell. “Just remember us every day.”
Academic advisor and student advocate, Gloria Rivera, tries to connect with every veteran student at Meadowbrook.
“They need to know someone cares about them personally,” says Rivera.