Las Positas College Veterans First Program to hold 13th annual Operation Gateway, a Virtual Event to support Veteran Transition into College and Civilian Life
Las Positas College (LPC) Veterans First Program will be holding its annual Operation Gateway event, a two-day virtual seminar that helps connect student service members, veterans and their families with resources available at the college designed specifically for the military-affiliated community. Operation Gateway, now in its 13th year, will be held on July 29-30. Members of LPC Veterans First Program and other veterans-serving organizations will be offering workshops and seminars throughout the event to assist military-affiliated students with career planning and learning about campus and resources that are available to them.
Todd Steffan, LPC Veterans First Supervisor, said the college is committed to serving and supporting student veterans and their families and that the goal of Operation Gateway is tto provide the tools to have a successful transition from military to college.
"Our mission has always been to support and reduce barriers as veterans make their transition from military to college and civilian life," he said. "Since day one, our focus has been to listen to our student veterans' voices, hear their challenges and try to address these challenges so they are able to be successful in college and after college. Our priority has been and always will be to provide the best service we can and to put the students we serve -- especially our student veterans -- first."
Current LPC student and former Marine Kristi DeLashmutt said Operation Gateway has been helping student veterans like her and promoting their educational success.
"The program is a great guide to ensure that veterans are aware of valuable college and veteran resources," she said. "Returning to school as an adult and a veteran can seem overwhelming at first, but Operation Gateway ensures that student veterans leave the program confident and excited about going to college."
LPC alum Anthony "Tony" Santos, a U.S. Army veteran, agreed.
"When I got out of the Army, Operation Gateway was an incredible way for me to connect with school resources, community support, and other student veterans. It was a great way to start my transition into civilian life," he said.
Students attending the event for the first time who attend all of the workshops will receive a book stipend through the LPC bookstore, according to Steffan. Veterans who attend the event will be able to get one-on-one assistance with applying for financial aid and counseling on how to maximize their VA education benefits.
Recent LPC graduate Timothy Leach is a testimony to how Operation Gateway and the supportive services that LPC offers can help veterans. He said it was especially helpful for him because he was able to develop a support network of fellow veterans. He now works at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
"Transitioning out of the military and into a civilian lifestyle is an emotional roller coaster ride and a difficult adjustment," he said. "Being introduced to other veterans going through the same struggle helped me and other student veterans develop ways to adjust to civilian life and become a successful student. It also was beneficial for myself and other student veterans to know that they still matter and that they have not been forgotten by the country they love and have proudly served."
The Veterans First Program will also be unveiling Mission Ready: Veterans Learning Community, a new group designed to place military-affiliated students in cohort groups so that they can take classes, socialize and study together. The learning community is expected to be rolled out and ready for students to join in the Fall.
About Las Positas College Las Positas College currently enrolls 9,300 students and offers curriculum for students seeking transfer to a four-year college or university, career preparation, or basic skills education. The College provides university transfer classes, retraining classes for those in need of employment or career advancement, a first-time educational opportunity for many adults, enrichment classes for those seeking a broader perspective, and career and technical training for those entering the technical and paraprofessional workforce.