Celebrating Camaraderie at the Veteran Resource Center
When Paige Fisher talks about the Veterans Resource Center at Governors State University (GSU), the reoccurring theme is comfort.
For Fisher, Veterans Education Specialist and School Certifying Official, this warm feeling is what attracted her to Governors State in the first place.
"I had never seen anything like the Veterans Center before. We do more than just explain benefits, which is all I previously knew veteran services to be at universities. It's completely unique in how involved it is with veterans as students and as people," she said.
Having spent a year at Moraine Valley Community College, a member of the Governors State Dual Degree Program (DDP), where Fisher was unsure of her path and accruing debt, she decided to join the U.S. Marine Corps. She served for four years, completing her tour in November of 2017.
With ambitions to return to school always at the forefront of her mind, she finished her bachelor’s degree in psychology in May 2019. But there was a void.
“I missed the camaraderie,” she said.
Fisher dreamed of working with veterans again to evoke the bonds forged in service, so GSU’s Veterans Resource Center was the perfect fit after she completed her degree.
She now works to certify veterans' education benefits, up to 36 months for free through the GI Bill, and assist veterans through their time at university
But for Fisher, the center’s true value lies in its ability to reawaken purpose through meaningful relationships.
“I'm so honored to be here. The veterans feel an instant connection when they come here, because we’re all veterans. They come to me and say, ‘I’m lost. I don’t know what to do.’ And I can say ‘I know. I was lost too.’”
With the 2019-20 academic year hosting 380 veterans, the center is a celebration of those bonds.
For Veteran's Day on Nov. 11, the Veterans Center is hosting an Open House for student veterans, faculty, and staff from 2 - 7 p.m., complete with coffee, hot chocolate, light snacks, and dessert.
Click here for more information on student veterans’ services.