Monday, February 19 , 2018, 3:32 am | Fair 49º

 
 
 
 

SBCC Veterans Center Coordinator Eager to Make Impact

Kyle Rasmussen Click to view larger
Kyle Rasmussen

For many young veterans, transitioning out of military service and into college life can be quite the culture shock. Having somewhere — and someone — to turn to for support during that transition is a critical part of the journey back to civilian life.

Kyle Rasmussen, newly-appointed coordinator for the Veterans Support and Resource Center at Santa Barbara City College, understands the important role he plays for local student veterans, and is eager to make a positive impact.

“The first two years after a veteran gets out of the service is their hardest time in my opinion,” said Rasmussen. “In college, they have these freedoms that they haven’t had since they were 18 years old, so it helps to have someone to talk to for guidance.

"When I was a student, I didn’t want to be associated with a veterans group, I just wanted to fit in. I want our veterans to come learn about the resources available to them, get information about grants and scholarships, and meet other student veterans who share similar experiences,” he said.

Rasmussen, originally from Monticello, KY., brings to SBCC experience in human resources management, budget planning, and U.S. military policies and procedures. He served in the Marine Corps, 2001-09, before moving to Santa Barbara and attending SBCC 2009-10.

He transferred to UCSB in 2011, and graduated in 2012 with a degree in history and a minor in earth science. Before joining SBCC in 2017, Rasmussen worked as a human resources assistant for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Speaking about his new position, Rasmussen said he was excited about the ability to immediately start making a positive impact on SBCC student veterans.

“So far it has been very positive and open," he said. "Students have been coming in to relax, study and connect. A lot of students have been in classes with other veterans and didn’t realize it until they connected at the Veterans Center, so we’re helping them expand their network as well.”

While Rasmussen will be providing valuable resources to local student veterans, he also recognizes the resources available to help him in his new role, including support from the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation.

“Working with the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation has been wonderful,” said Rasmussen. “We’ve quickly developed a strong relationship, and together, we have already helped make life easier for local veterans.

"I’ve been blown away by John and Hazel Blankenship’s kindness and their willingness to quickly provide grants and other forms of support. The generosity of this foundation is overwhelming to our veterans,” he said.

To learn more about the SBCC Veteran Center, visit www.sbcc.edu/veteranssupport. For more information, visit www.pcvf.org or call 259-4394.

— Andy Silverman for Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation.

 
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