Veteran Takes Advantage of GI Bill

Jorge MoraArmy veteran and El Camino College Compton Center student Jorge Mora is taking advantage of his GI Bill and financial aid to complete his education and start a new career.  Nearly 40 percent of all California veterans receiving GI educational benefits attend a California Community College, which can help improve their work skills and put them on the fast track to a rewarding job.

Student veterans can receive Veterans Affairs benefits as well as federal and state financial aid. Pair financial assistance with the many academic and Career and Technical Education programs offered at ECC Compton Center and it’s a winning combination to gain skills needed to land good-paying jobs. Through the Veterans Services office at ECC Compton Center, Mora is utilizing a variety of resources to help him achieve his goals to transfer to either the University of Southern California or the University of California, Los Angeles and earn a bachelor’s degree.

Mora is a certified dental technician and worked for a year in the field after completing his military service. He wants to have career options, so he enrolled in the nursing program at ECC Compton Center. Mora is concerned about the welfare of others and believes that becoming a nurse will enable him to continue to serve his community. “After serving in the military, I wanted to do something to help people and give them a second chance at life,” said Mora. “I want to assist people who may have got themselves in trouble.”

Mora attended Jordan High School in Long Beach. After graduating in 1998, he joined the United States Army as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division and was stationed at Fort Bragg in California. He then reenlisted and was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division as a water purification specialist stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia. Mora says he enlisted to set a positive example for his brothers. “I wanted them to know that there are experiences available in life other than just staying in your hometown,” said Mora. “I wanted to encourage my brothers to venture out into the world to explore and see different cultures and lifestyles. I wanted this experience for myself, too.”

Mora takes advantage of the resources available at ECC Compton Center. He works closely with a counselor at the Veterans Resource Center who also refers him to the different veterans resources in the community. In addition, he benefits from ECC Compton Center’s Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) for low-income and educationally disadvantaged students, as well as the Library-Student Success Center for math tutoring.  

He encourages local veterans to consider enrolling at El Camino College Compton Center. “If you want to have a better career and don’t know what to do, it’s okay to ask for help—you are not alone,” said Mora. “There are people and resources available to help you achieve your goals. The faculty and staff at Compton Center are always willing to help students, which is one of the things I like best about attending classes here.”

For additional information, please contact Vanessa Haynes, academic and veterans services counselor, at 310-900-1600, Ext. 2913 or via email at vhaynes@elcamino.edu. View the enrollment steps for veterans here.

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