Veterans Resource Center Seeks to Help

After serving our country, veterans deserve support. GCC has a special program dedicated to helping student veterans and their families. The Veterans Resource Center, which has been around since Spring 2013, aims to give “veterans structure they were used to in the military, because who understands veterans? Veterans!!” 

Leonardo Perez is an Enrollment Service Technician at Glendale Community College (GCC) in the admissions and records office and helps at the Veteran Resource Center. He explained that the discipline that soldiers experience during the military is very structured. The bonds they make during their time in service are like a brotherhood. Perez expressed that sometimes people who haven’t served in the military cannot connect with a service member recently discharged from the military. 

Perez reflected on the Center and its purpose, noting that he wanted the Veterans Resource Center to “bring us as one again.” He said he needed to give the knowledge he has now to our upcoming veterans. As a volunteer and veteran himself, he said he hopes to “be able to provide the resources needed for the newer generation of veterans and guide them in the right direction.” He shared that he didn’t have the help he needed when starting. “I had to figure things out on my own,” said Perez. He would like to see more veteran males and females join the Veterans Resource Center and continue to provide camaraderie and brotherhood. 

The Veterans Resource Center is in the Tongva building, across from Sierra Vista. Their hours of operation are Monday through Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors will be greeted by students who are there as work-study employees or students who use their lounge to study or relax before their classes. Isaac Pedraza is the Veteran Resource Center’s counselor. He seeks to help veteran students build an education plan and gives them resources on applying for school or signing up for classes. He will also direct them to the certifying official and coordinator, Charles Shumate. Shumate will help guide students if they want to use their military benefits. You can set an appointment with Pedraza by emailing him at [email protected] or (818) 240-1000 ext. 3333. 

 The Veterans Resource Center will host a Health and Wellness event for Veterans and their families on Wednesday, May 31. It will be at the Sierra Vista Plaza from 10 a.m. until noon. Organizations such as Veterans of Foreign Wars, Glendale Veterans Village, VSO, RWB, EDD, and many more will be there to help service members and their families.  

Maria Ruano can be reached at [email protected].