After serving 26 years in the Marines which I was privileged to see and interact with a wide variety of people from all over the country and the world. Early on I realized the ties of family and events at home have a pivotal role toward the mental attitude of the service member and how it affects their daily lives and ability to function on the job. As a senior Staff Noncommissioned Officer, I was able to assist not only the service member but began to work with helping the member’s family as well. There were many young members that needed assistance to survive which included getting social services involved to appropriate food stamps as well as financial assistance. Coordinating with social services on the military base and public services outside of the base, I realized I could be of assistance to making a difference in the lives of service members and their families. After the military, I worked as a plant manager for Cintas Corporation in Buffalo, NY. The workers at the plant came from many culturally diverse social economic backgrounds. It was my first interaction with people outside of the military and it generated within me a greater sense of how the different systems interact and affect the lives of individuals.
I decided to use my G.I. Education bill to pursue a degree in Social work, believing that I could one day help make a difference in the lives of others. While attending Monroe Community College, I learned SUNY Brockport’s program after a professor discussed the program in one of my classes.
Brockport’s program helped me to grow professionally and personally. The human behavior course caused me to look deep within myself – It helped me to understand my own life and the things that had shaped me to become the person I am today. The internships helped me to understand the importance of the social work ethics and values. By working with clients I learned to provide effective services to non-military families in need.
After graduating I have taken some time off from school, but have applied to the graduate school to pursue my Master of Social Work degree. I plan to seek work aiding military veterans as well as working to assist the elderly population. I’m currently involved with a grassroots community group that is looking at the problems within the communities involving minority males. I hope to one day be part of an organization performing research on social problems and finding ways to improve conditions or alleviate the problems that affect the lives of others.