Volume 1, Issue 9 Fall December 2020
COVID-19/Flu Season Edition
Welcome back veterans to another great Fall semester with Veterans Upward Bound. We hope that you are ready for a great learning experience and to reach new goals in your pursuit towards a certificate or a college degree. VUB is centered around providing the essential tools needed to get you ready for college. The program is offered free to any qualifying veteran. We look forward to helping you prepare for a successful college experience.

The VUB staff is excited to assist you in your future endeavors. Stop in and let us help you reach your goal of being a successful college-ready veteran student.
Student Excellence Awards

Congratulations to all the students successfully completing the VUB program:

Angela Zarate – Summer 2020
Kelly Ryan – Summer 2020
Clinton Bess – Summer 2020
Donald Fletcher – Summer 2020
Jerry Mason – Summer 2020
Velvet McAlister – Summer 2020
VUB Alumni who have successfully completed their degree program

Joshua Dalton – A.A. Spring 2020
Brian Doolittle A.S. Spring 2020
Marc Fisher Certificate & A.S Spring 2020 
Dalton Hoffman A.A. Spring 2020
Marcus McCreary A.A. Spring 2020 
Samuel Nettles Certificate Spring 2020 
Jabriel SanGabriel A.A. Spring 2020 
Peter Todaro A.A. Spring 2020
Troy Watts A.S. Spring 2020
Thomas Hammond A.A. Spring 2020
Veterans Upward Bound’s Continued Response to COVID-19
On Monday, August 17, Pensacola State College reopened its doors to students and visitors for the Fall semester. Many classes offered by the College and Veterans Upward Bound are online. PSC as well as Veterans Upward Bound have ramped up their cleaning efforts and are strictly enforcing social distancing guidelines and masks. We advise all student veterans to continue to visit the PSC website as well as our Facebook page to stay up to date with the latest information. For the latest information about the VA’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, visit https://www.publichealth.va.gov/n-coronavirus/. They have information about the safety precautions that the VA is taking to protect the health of all veterans who visit their facilities.
Remember, this is flu season, so please get your flu shot. VA Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System in partnership with the Joint Ambulatory Care Clinic will have a free drive-thru clinic for veterans who would like to receive the flu shot. The Joint Ambulatory Care Clinic is located at 790 Veterans Way off Highway 98 in Pensacola. Please make sure to bring your Veterans Health Identification Card and wear a short-sleeve shirt to receive your flu shot. Please check out our Important Dates to Remember below for the dates and times. It is important that we invest in our health and well-being. We are America strong! 
Academic Brief from John E. Woods, EdD, Academic Coordinator
Welcome back veterans! This year has been filled with uncertainty and stress. The Fall 2020 semester started slow, but it is now in full swing. We all are experiencing the results of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, do not be dismayed. We will get through this. Veterans Upward Bound is here not only to assist you with your academic needs but also to help you find other resources that can aid you. Please do not hesitate to call our office and ask for assistance.

Here are five steps that can help you with your studies during this time of educational changes:

  1. Manage Your Time. It is easy to procrastinate when your class is online or virtual. Stay on a schedule. Keep track of assignment due dates using a calendar or planner. Start your assignments early. Turn in your assignments before the deadline. This will give you some breathing room before the next assignment. 
  2. Never Miss a Class. Missing class puts you behind in learning the material. A percentage of information is presented during the discussion and what other students interject in the discussion that can be beneficial to the learning process. If you do miss a class, review the Zoom recording if one is provided. If no recording exists, contact the instructor or another student for information covered during class.
  3. Come to Class Prepared. Read the required material before the class. Reading the material will permit you to be actively involved in any discussion. Knowing the material before class will aid in learning during the class meeting.
  4. Stay Organized. Create a folder or binder for each class. Organization will help you to manage your time. Keep your syllabus, assignments, class notes, schedule and instructor correspondence in the folder or binder. This will allow you to quickly locate information that you might need to reference for class.
  5. Take Care of Yourself. Students often get so focused on school and life that they forget to take care of themselves. Watch your stress level. Take breaks. Have some relaxing activities. Exercise! Eat nutritional high energy food. Don’t let the stress gator bite you and pull you down.

Have a great learning experience!                                       

Student Spotlight: Student Veterans Association
This Fall semester our student spotlight shines on the Student Veterans Association, an organization that consists of veterans and veterans’ dependents. Its mission is to build a network to lead, support, and advocate for active-duty military and veterans and veterans’ dependent students. The Pensacola State College chapter was established June 1, 2008. Current president of the organization is Army veteran Dustin Reddin. SVA Officers are: Army veteran Lisa Marshall-Velez (Vice President), Army veteran Denise Reyes (Secretary), Marine Corps veteran Jacob Trevino (Sergeant-at-Arms), and Navy veteran Gideon Innis (Treasurer). The advisors are VUB Academic Coordinator John Woods, EdD, US Air Force (Ret), VSSS Academic Advisor Wayne Hagan and PSC Student Services Advisor Army veteran Donavan Tennimon. If you are interested in joining the association, biweekly meetings start at 3 p.m. in the Veterans Student Lounge, located in Building 6 (Student Affairs), room 650. You also can reach them by telephone at 850-484-2068 or by email at studentveteransassociation@pensacolastate.edu

See below for recent activities of the Student Veterans Association.
Veterans Upward Bound survives Hurricane Sally
On Wednesday, September 16, Hurricane Sally made landfall on the Gulf Coast, coming ashore as a Category 2 storm. Pensacola State College's main campus had a significant amount of damage but the VUB office remained intact. Staff and students from both Escambia and Santa Rosa counties were without power and internet for about a week. But thanks to the hard work of Gulf Power and Florida Power and Light linemen, power was restored.

Veterans Upward Bound was able to provide information to participants about the different food and supply distribution sites around the county. Classes for Pensacola State College and Veterans Upward Bound resumed on September 28. We are all still in the recovery process not only from Hurricane Sally but COVID-19 as well. Please continue to visit the Pensacola State College website as well as our Facebook page to stay up to date with the latest information and resources.
Veterans Day Parade 2020
The Annual Veterans Day Parade sponsored by the Gulf Coast Advocacy Council of Florida was held on Wednesday, November 11, in downtown Pensacola.The parade began at 10 a.m. at the corner of Garden Street and ended at Veterans Memorial Park on the corner of 9th Avenue and Bayfront Parkway.

The Grand Marshal was Cpl. Hershel “Woody” Williams (pictured), a West Virginia native, Cpl. Williams enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served in the Pacific theater during WWII, where he would see combat on the islands Guam and Iwo Jima. He served with the 21st Marines, 3rd Marine Division. It was during the Battle of Iwo Jima, that Hershel displayed fearless devotion to duty and service that allowed his company to reach its objective. On October 5, 1945, Cpl. Williams received the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Harry S. Truman. He is the only surviving Marine from WWII to wear the Medal of Honor. Cpl. Williams was also the guest of honor at the dedication of the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument at Veterans Memorial Park.

Veteran organizations from around the county, including students and staff from Veterans Upward Bound, Veterans Student Support Services and the Student Veterans Association Pensacola State College chapter, participated in the parade. The event was broadcast live on WRNE radio stations 106.9 FM and 980 AM. 

“Since 2015, We’ve been a part of the annual parade that pays homage to the U.S. warriors who have served and established a legacy of honor, courage and sense of service for a greater good” said Rob Gregg, director of VUB. 

The parade was a celebration in honor of America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
About Veterans Day
Veterans Day is intended to honor and thank all military personnel who served the United States armed services in all wars. It is recorded in history that on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 the Armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect. The following year, on November 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Armistice Day should be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory.” On June 1, 1954, Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veteran,” so therefore Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day.

Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans -- living or dead -- but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.
Modern Day Military
Plenty of scholarships available at Pensacola State College
Are you looking or another source of financial aid to pay for college? Well, look no further. Pensacola State College has 240 scholarships available based on academic merit, leadership, school and community service, financial need, and other criteria.

To qualify for consideration, applicants must submit a completed Pensacola State scholarship application and all required documentation online at www.pensacolastate.edu/financial-aid/#scholarships-001513. Keep in mind that applications are academic-year specific and that a new application must be submitted for each academic year. The deadline for the 2020-2021 Summer term is April 12, 2021. There are other helpful links to search engines that provide information for scholarships listed below. Remember that when applying for a scholarship you should never have to pay to do so — be aware of scams.
Important Dates
December 2020

1 Free Drive-Through FLU Shots at the Joint Ambulatory Care Clinic (9 am to 1 pm)
3 Free Drive-Through FLU Shots at the Joint Ambulatory Care Clinic (9 am to 1 pm)
7 National Pearl Harbor Day
7 Last day of the VUB Fall Session 
8 Free Drive-Through FLU Shots at the Joint Ambulatory Care Clinic (9 am to 1 pm)
9 Free Drive-Through FLU Shots at the Joint Ambulatory Care Clinic (9 am to 1 pm)
11 Homeless Veterans Stand Down - Brownsville Community Center
Spring 2021 VUB Orientation (Online)
13 US National Guard Birthday
15 Free Drive-Through FLU Shots at the Joint Ambulatory Care Clinic (9 am to 1 pm)
17 Free Drive-Through FLU Shots at the Joint Ambulatory Care Clinic (9 am to 1 pm)
December 17 thru January 3 Winter Break (College Closed)
22 Free Drive-Through FLU Shots at the Joint Ambulatory Care Clinic (9 am to 1 pm)
24 Free Drive-Through FLU Shots at the Joint Ambulatory Care Clinic (9 am to 1 pm)

January 2021

1 New Year’s Day (College Closed)
14 PSC Spring Classes begin
11  VUB Spring I Classes begin
18 Martin Luther King Jr. Day (College Closed)

February 2021

2 Groundhog Day
4 USO Birthday
6 Last of VUB Spring I classes
8 VUB Spring II Term begin
12 Lincoln’s Birthday
13 Valentine’s Day 
17 Presidents Day
19 Coast Guard Reserve Birthday
Celebrating the Men and Women of the United States Navy and Air Force
In honor of the 245th birthday of the United States Navy and the 73rd birthday of the United States Air Force, Veterans Upward Bound provided cake in celebration.

The Navy was officially established October 13, 1775, when the Second Continental Congress passed a resolution creating the Continental Navy. But after the American Revolutionary War the Continental Navy was disbanded. Under President George Washington, the Naval Act of 1794 a permanent standing of the U.S. Navy, was created.

The original inception date for the United States Air Force was September 18, 1947, after President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act. The Air Force evolved from an agreement in 1946 between Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Gen. Carl A. Spaatz. Both generals made the decision to transition the military unit of the Army Air Forces into the United States Air Force on January 29, 1946.

Today, the Navy has a total of 327,372 active duty and 99,432 reservists. The Air Force has a total of 325,563 active duty and 97,097 reservists.
Veterans Lunch and Learn Series focuses on American Legion
On Wednesday, September 30, 2020, Veterans Upward Bound sponsored a Zoom lunch and learn workshop with guest speaker VUB Director Rob Gregg. During this session, students were given information about American Legion and the services that they offer to veterans.

The American Legion was chartered and incorporated March 15-17, 1919, by Congress as a patriotic veterans’ organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. The Hanniton Watts American Legion Post 193 was established in 1946 for African American veterans. Post 193 was named after Hanniton Watts, who was the first serviceman in the Pensacola area to die in combat during WWII.

The American Legion was founded on four pillars: Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, National Security, Americanism, and Children and Youth. The mission was to support active duty and veterans. It is the nation's largest wartime veterans service organization, with more than 2.4 million members in 14,000 posts worldwide. The posts are organized into 55 departments, one each for the 50 states along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico, and the Philippines. 

American Legion success depends entirely on active membership, participation, and volunteerism. Along with information about their services, students were given information on what it takes to become a member of the American Legion. What a great opportunity for veteran students to network and learn about American Legion!
Student Veterans Association in action!
Fall Community Service Project: Clean-Up at American Legion Post 193
On Saturday, August 8, 2020, Student Veterans Association, Veterans Upward Bound and Veterans Student Support Services sponsored a community service clean-up project at the American Legion Post 193.

This was the first community service project for the Fall semester. “We not only had students but also their family members helping us with this community service project on Saturday morning,” said John Woods, the College’s VUB coordinator. They started about 7:30 a.m. and were there until the job was done. The group landscaped, pressure-washed and organized storage at the post.

The organizations were able to partner with Escambia County’s BRACE (Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies) for this event. American Legion member George Hill, a retired U.S. Air Force airman, was grateful for the services that the group provided.

What a great way of giving back to the community. 
For Patriot Day, a fish fry fundraiser at the American Legion
The Student Veterans Association held a Patriot Day fish fry fundraiser on Friday to raise money for the organization at the American Legion Post 193. This event was held in honor of the men and women who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

SVA President Dustin Reddin stated that 9/11 was one of the life-changing events that motivated him to enlist into the United States Army. “The 9/11 attack, he said, “sealed the deal” on his decision to enlist.”

"It has meaning for those of us who have served either in the military or law enforcement or the medical field or the fire department,” said John Woods, an Air Force veteran and the PSC Veterans Upward Bound Academic Coordinator.

The group fried and delivered fish to staff who on the Pensacola campus who had pre-ordered the meals. The SVA also sold meals from the parking lot of the American Legion Post on 12th Avenue. Overall, the event was a success and we are looking forward to next year’s event.
2020 American Legion Post Auxiliary 193 Golf Tournament
The American Legion Auxiliary 193 held its annual 2020 Charity Skins Golf Tournament on Saturday, October 24, 2020, at the Osceola Municipal Golf Course. The tournament raised money for scholarships and community projects.

The day started off with a little rain but the members and their guests were able to get out and enjoy a few rounds of golf. A total of 45 participants enjoyed the tournament.  

The guests were served food and drinks, and prizes were given out, including a $10,000 Hole-In-One and Poker Chances on all Par 3.

After the tournament, a 19th Hole Awards and Recognition Ceremony was held at the American Legion Post 193. Overall, the tournament was a success and the Auxiliary was able to raise $3,500 for a worthy cause. 
Samuel Nettles finds success post-Veterans Upward Bound
It is easy to talk about the great work Veterans Upward Bound program, but the success of our participants is proof that we are committed to fulfilling our mission. One of our success stories is Samuel Nettles, a 2012 VUB graduate. 

Sam is a Navy veteran who served four years as a Disbursing Clerk. He entered the Veterans Upward Bound program in April 2011 needing assistance in math. 

“I really enjoyed my time going through the Veterans Upward Bound program,” said Nettles. “They helped with providing the necessary assistance that I needed to get ready for an algebra class. Everyone was very helpful, and the instructor was there after class when I had questions. At the time, I was just getting back into school and they made the transition a lot easier."

After completing the Veterans Upward Bound program, Sam enrolled at Pensacola State College in May 2013 to pursue a technical certificate in Business Management. He also completed the PSC Works program in May 2019. Sam later received his certificate in Business Management from Pensacola State College in Spring 2020.

Sam is proud to say that he has been employed by PSC for the last four years as an Administrative Assistant in the facilities department. Keep up the good work, Sam! 
Helpful tips on how to avoid scams this holiday season
Be cautious shopping online: Because many retailers now have chip card readers, fraud at brick-and-mortar stores is down, so scammers have shifted their efforts online. Use a credit (not debit) card online and only shop on secure websites. Look for https in the address (the extra “s” is for “secure”), and for a lock symbol. Look-alike websites: When shopping online, make sure to use only legitimate websites. Watch out for URLs that use 
the names of well-known brands along with extra words.

Fake shipping notifications: These can have attachments or links to sites that will download malware on your computer to steal your identity and your passwords. Don’t be fooled by a holiday phishing scam. E-cards: Electronic cards can be great fun but be careful. Two red flags to watch out for: The sender’s name is not apparent, or you are required to share additional information to get the card.

Letters from Santa: Several trusted companies offer charming and personalized letters from Santa, but scammers mimic them to get personal information from unsuspecting parents. Check with bbb.org to find out which ones are legitimate.

Emergency scam: Be cautious if you get a call from a family member or friend claiming to be in an accident, arrested, or hospitalized while traveling in another country. Never send money unless you confirm with another family member that it’s needed.

Phony charities: Everyone is in a generous mood at the holidays, so scammers take advantage of that with fake charity solicitations in email, on social media sites, and even by text message. Check out charities at give.org before donating. Temporary holiday jobs: Retailers and delivery services need extra help at the holidays but beware of solicitations that require you to share personal information online or pay for a job lead. Apply in person or go to retailers’ main websites to find out who is hiring.

Unusual forms of payment: Be wary of anyone who asks you to pay for holiday purchases using prepaid debit cards, gift cards, wire transfers, third parties, etc. These payments cannot be traced and cannot be undone. Free gift cards, pop-up ads, or emails offering free gift cards are often just a ploy to get your personal information that can later be used for identity theft.

Social media gift exchange: It sounds like a great deal: Buy one gift and get 36 in return.

Season’s Greetings from the Staff & Faculty of Veterans Upward Bound
Director's Corner: Looking back on a memorable year

As we close out 2020, we can say that it has been a memorable year. Historic weather, social unrest and a historic pandemic. We have been confronted with changes that will reverberate for the unforeseen future.

As we confront these obstacles remember: The light at the end of the tunnel is still lit. Your educational pursuit will not be in vain. Balancing work and school life are a daunting task. Remember to take time out for self-care and family. Going into battle without mental and physical preparedness lessen the likelihood of mission success. 

As you continue your educational journey, always remember the words of Tony Cavanagh: “Don’t chase dreams, hunt goals.”

Meet Our Staff
John Woods
U.S. Air Force (Retired)
Academic Coordinator
Rob Gregg
U.S. Navy (Retired)
Ingrid Davis
Recruitment & Retention
Jan Mayhew
Lab Manager
Dustin Reddin
U.S. Army Veteran
VA Student Assistant
Trinity Miller
VA Student Assistant
Our mission is to empower veterans
by preparing them for college