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Matt Jones

​Veterans Service Office Provides Pathway to Future for Student Veteran

Matt Jones was ready to get back into school following a stint in the U.S. Army that wrapped up with a six-month deployment in Bagdad. The 27-year-old veteran with a wife and infant daughter was still officially in the military when he stepped onto the Santiago Canyon College (SCC) campus in summer of 2015.

Image of Matt JonesOne of his first stops was the Veterans Service Office (VSO) where he received guidance on registration, class selection, and more for his upcoming fall semester. Driven with the goal to obtain a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, the VSO was a frequent hangout for Jones, who made use of the computers, printers, and the opportunity for a good chat about his future. He found the office staff to be very welcoming, efficient, and interested in supporting his personal goals.

“During my second year the staff repeatedly encouraged me to apply for scholarships until I finally did,” said Jones. “As a result, I was awarded several generous scholarships that were a great blessing because they lifted a huge financial burden off my wife and me.”

Jones, who transfers to the University of California, Irvine in the fall, said the experience provided him with the confidence to pursue scholarship opportunities at UC Irvine as well, something he likely never would have done otherwise.

With a major that demanded numerous high level math and science courses, Jones again found guidance from the VSO when he was directed to the Math Study Hall (MaSH), and the Science Teaching and Resource Center (STAR).

“I definitely loved the tutoring resources. If it weren’t for the math and STAR centers I don’t think I would have done as well as I did,” said Jones.

He did very well indeed, graduating with a 3.8 grade point average.