December 6, 2012
Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) is welcoming veterans into different programs to help them make a career change or finish up a degree.
I met a veteran who is part of the V-RAP program at PVCC is for veterans who are between 35 and 60 years old, are unemployed and are no longer eligible for GI benefits.
Joyce Howard was in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1980 to 1983 and has lost two jobs since she served. With two children and a mother to care for, it's time to do something different.
"I didn't know what to do but I found out about the V-RAP program and realized this is an opportunity to change my life completely," Howard, an Albemarle County resident said.
The V-RAP program provides veterans with a list of high-demand jobs to help them pick a track. Howard applied to radiology, which she says will provide her with a solid future and the ability to grow
She says this is the first time there's ever been an education opportunity for her.
"Now I see that college is a reality and I'm so grateful. I think it's because of the climate in this county and the patriotism. The public feel and support for the military is very high right now and I'm just so grateful for this opportunity," Howard said.
Many veterans are taking advantage of special programs like the ones at PVCC and even though it will mean balancing home and classes, Howard hopes to show her children it's never to late to start over.
"It's really hard to come back and start again. Especially at my age...but why not?"
PVCC will hold another information session for veterans on Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon.