Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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Nonprofit expands to help veterans earn college degrees

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TWC News: Nonprofit expands to help veterans earn college degrees
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A college degree was never part of David Carrell's plan. As a tank operator in the U.S. Army, he wanted to serve 20 years in uniform.

"In November, 2011, I had back surgery and by January, they said I was getting out,” he said. “I had to look for something else to do and this just kind of fell in my lap."

While working with the Student Veterans organization, he was nominated to work with the Posse Foundation. The foundation expanded its education assistance to veterans.

The former staff sergeant is now pursuing a general studies degree at Central Texas College.

"Veterans have this amazing persistence about them. If there's something their mind to, they do it,” Bryan said

And that's why the Posse Foundation is looking to expand with Central Texas College.

However, transitioning back to the civilian life wasn't easy for Carrell after four deployments to Iraq. He credits his involvement with the Student Veterans to his success.

"It's been rough. We're all doing the same thing we're just trying to make it, trying to get by,” Carrell said. “But you have to find people that you have something in common with so you can share your experiences."

With the foundation's help, Carrell will attend New York's Vassar College on a four-year scholarship.

"All I heard was ‘You’re in,’” Carrell said. “It was one of the most amazing feelings I've had in very long time."

Ten other students from the Posse Foundation will attend Vassar College in the next fall semester. The group will continue to help these students throughout their time in school.

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