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DMC Recognizes 66 Veteran Students for Completing Veterans Upward Bound Program, Transitioning to Civilian Life Through Higher Education

Article by Mleinda Eddleman

They’ve served their country, and they also represent the United States Department of Defense Armed Forces––including the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Air Force. Now, they’re pursuing their next steps as part of civilian life through higher education and have completed the Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) Program at Del Mar College (DMC) to make that adjustment a little easier.

On Aug. 8 during a ceremony, the College honored the 66 DMC veteran students who completed the VUB Program with certificates and a celebratory dinner. Veterans Upward Bound is a free educational program funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide academic and non-cognitive support to low-income, first-generation military veterans.

“The primary goal of our program is to increase the rate that participants enroll in and complete postsecondary education programs,” says Veronica Barbosa, a VUB Advisor at the College. “The program is designed to motivate and assist veterans in the development of academic and other requisite skills necessary for acceptance and success in their selected field of study.”

The College’s VUB Program services include academic assistance, mentoring, career exploration, enrollment counseling, financial aid advising, leadership development and financial literacy. VUB also provides tutoring and academic instruction in core subject areas.  

The honorees included Susie V. Alaniz, Victor Alcazar, Pierre Angeles, Tricia Astin, Justin D. Avalos, Heidi Bell, Theresa Boggess, Amy Brown, Reynaldo Cabrera, Aaron Cline, Richard Contreras, Christopher Corkill, Cruz DeLeon, Tony DeLeon, Timothy Dominguez, Timothy Elzner, Eloy R. Espinosa, Frederico Franco Jr., Robert Franklin, Kyle Gale, Guillermo Garcia, Joe Garcia, Gilberto Garza, Kirk D. George, Colt Gillis, Bradley Goodwin, Emilio Guerra, Victoria Guerra, Christian Hamff, David Hellerud, Shawn Jackson, Van Johnson, Kristopher Juarez, Erick Kauffman, Katy King, Elijah Ledezma, John Leonard, Gary Lewis, Crystal Lirette, Albino Lopez, Christopher J. Lopez, Michael Lopez, Michael Lozano, Ray Mares, Joel Martinez, Joseph Mathison, Kenneth McCreless, Maria McJimsey, Karl D. Olsson, Daniel Ordunez, Roberto A. Padilla, Stevie Pena, Jon M. Pennington, Aia Phillips, John Pollard, Sarah Preston, Brady Rose, Miguel Salcedo, Guadalupe Salinas, Robert Sanchez, Andrew Sanders, George Tealer, Nicanor Velasquez, Carmen Verdetto, Matthew Watson and Christopher Yzaguirre.

Prior to the certificate ceremony and dinner, the student veterans and guests will hear from keynote speaker and World War II veteran Dotson G. Lewis, Jr., U. S. Army Sergeant (Ret.) and Volunteer Senior Education Instructor with the DMC Continuing Education & Off-Campus Programs Division. 

Dotson G Lewis Jr_World War II Veteran

Described by his friends as a decorated American hero and patriot, Lewis is a man of many accomplishments who joined the war effort at age 18 with the U.S. Army. In 1948, General Douglas MacArthur presented the soldier with a gold watch. Lewis spent 13 months in combat during the Korean War and received several combat medals, including the Korean Service Award with five battle stars.

DMC students are not strangers to Lewis’ wise words. In December 2019, he addressed the College’s graduating class as part of commencement. To learn more about him, go to vikingnews.delmar.edu/college-announces-fall-2019-commencement-speaker-for-dec-13-ceremony-at-american-bank-center/ (Dec. 9, 2019 news release)



About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.