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Steve Briones

Meet a Student

Steve Briones

GateWay Community College in Phoenix

Area of Study
Water Resource Technologies

Military Service
Navy, ABF Jet Fuel Pumproom Operator, Aircraft Carrier Roosevelt 2004-2008

To what degree does the GI Bill cover your school expenses?
The GI Bill covers my books, tuition and it even provides a stipend for living expenses.

What prompted you to return to school?
I was working in security at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and was let go in 2010. I knew I wanted to find a career that would be stable and interests me. I liked what the water resource technologies program offers, as well as the opportunities that exist once I graduate.

Was adjusting to campus culture a challenge after military life?
A college campus is much different than being on a base or serving overseas. It's a more relaxed environment and getting used to it took some time at first. It was a big change.  The college has a student club for veterans, which also helped to make the transition.

What has your experience been like at GateWay Community College in Phoenix?
My experience at GateWay has been awesome. The faculty and advisors have been great to work with and are very knowledgeable. Some are also former military. The college is conveniently located, has access to the light rail, bus service and freeways, so transporation is not an issue. It's also minutes from Sky Harbor International Airport.

What advice do you have for veterans returning to school?
I would tell other veterans to use your benefits, even if you have a degree. You can use the benefits to further your career or re-career.  

Additional Comments
I actually like attending so much, that I work here part-time now, helping other veterans enrolling and answering their questions about benefits for themselves and dependents, getting them adjusted to campus life, and providing encouragement and support.