News 12 This Morning
September 13, 2013
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW)--"I joined the Marine Corps right out of high school, did four years in the marine corp and then decided it was time to transition back into civilian life," said Colin Shaufler.
A North Augusta native, Shaufler decided to head back to school.
"[I] started looking at colleges and ended up here at USC Aiken," said Shaufler.
He started classes in 2010 and says he was lucky he had a great support system to help him through the transition.
"It wasn't as bad because I had a very good family from this area that I could talk with and a lot of my family is military so they understood a lot of what I was going through," Shaufler explained.
Earlier this year, USC Aiken founded its Veteran and Military Student Success Center.
Chauffler is now president of the student organization. He says it makes a huge difference for veterans and military students.
"The Veterans Center here gives them a place to go where they can talk to people that actually understand the things they've been through and can help them with some of the stuff they're dealing with," he said.
USC Aiken was just awarded the Military Friendly Schools designation, which embraces the top 20 percent of schools embracing military service members.
"We feel like that's a tremendous accomplishment for USC Aiken," Shaufler said. "We definitely feel the school's support all the way up to our chancellor."
The center now is now serving more than 100 military students on campus.
"[We ask them] them,' is there anything we can do to help you, are there any questions you have? Even as far as not school related, but moving your family here or anything like that," he said. "So, it's basically just a support network."
Chauffler says now he's glad for the chance to help his fellow military classmates and future military classmates.
"It gives me a better feeling knowing that when I leave, after I graduate, that this center will still be around and the new students coming in will get a better opportunity right from the start than the veterans were getting five or 10 years ago," he said.
For more information about the USC Aiken Veteran and Military Student Success Center, click the link below.
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