Glendale Community College boasts on its website “GCC is ranked eighth among vet-friendly two-year colleges.”
GCC’s Veterans Services Center has about every branch of the military working with other veterans. For instance, U.S Army veteran Gil Felix works at the center and is also a student at GCC.
Felix said he works with veterans “helping them learn about their benefits or what benefits they can use ... getting them into classes and virtually anything that has to do with veterans, they come in here and we help them out.”
Felix, born and raised in Glendale, graduated from Cactus High School before joining the Army. After being in the Army, he took classes in New York. When he moved back to Arizona, he found the veteran center and has helped others since.
“Frequently, the questions have been about the veteran’s benefits, not knowing how they operate or what benefits they can use or what the benefits offer,” said Felix. “That is what the questions has been most frequently, along with helping them getting lined up with their classes.
Helping to get them all squared away.”
He sees many veterans who are coming to college for the first time, fresh out of the military. He can relate, as he thought coming to college was scary, when transitioning back to civilian life.
“It is your first time you get to choose what you do, it’s not you getting told what to do,” Felix said. “It was a big deal for me and a lot of times it is a big deal for the new veterans. The new veterans and new transitioning veterans who want to start school.”
He has found GCC to be super helpful because of knowing there are other people who are like-minded and have been through or understand at least the same problems.
“You make friends here, you start feeling alright this is where I am supposed to be and then you start branching out from there,” Felix said. “That is what it felt like for me, not only at the other school but here as well.”
For more information, call the Veterans Services Center at 623-845-3362, visit gccaz.edu/veterans or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Located on the GCC campus at 6000 West Olive Avenue, the center hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday.