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VetsSuccess at Suffolk County Community College, One of 99 Colleges in Nation with Program

VSOC Program Announced

U.S. Representatives Lee Zeldin and Peter King joined Suffolk County Community College, Nassau Community College, Suffolk County Legislators Tom Donnelly and Susan Berland, veteran students and local veterans to announce the expansion of the VetsSuccess on Campus (VSOC) program to Long Island. The LI Congressional Delegation worked with Suffolk and Nassau to secure the program for our veterans.

The expansion of the VSOC program provides our veteran students with access to programs to help them transition into civilian life and the workforce. The VSOC program provides a VA Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor to each VSOC school. These VRCs are called VSOC Counselors. Suffolk is one of only 99 colleges in the country with the VSOC program.

Source: Suffolk County Community College


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4/15/18 Open House at Suffolk County Community College

OpenHouse 2018Prospective and recently accepted students and their families will be welcomed by faculty, administrators and current students to Suffolk County Community College’s open house scheduled across all three of the college’s campuses and the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Center on Sunday, April 15 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

College faculty and administrators will welcome visitors and offer detailed information about Suffolk’s more than 70 degree and 30 certificate programs and will be joined by admissions staff to help students and parents navigate the admissions process and answer questions. Financial aid representatives will provide details about the grants and loans process, as well as the many academic scholarships available at Suffolk.

Veterans should note that campus representatives will be available to provide educational and transitional services information.

The Open House program at each campus will be important for recently-accepted students as well, and provide an opportunity to learn more about placement testing, academic advisement and financial aid. 

RSVP: www.sunysuffolk.edu/OpenHouse


11/28/17 Veterans Suicide Prevention Presentation

Veterans Suicide Prevention Presentation          

The College’s Campus Veteran Resource Center and the Student Veterans of America will be hosting a Veteran suicide prevention program on the College’s three campuses.  Guest speaker, Tim Lawson, a Veteran and founder of the 1, 2, Many Project will engage the community in applying proactive solutions to address the alarming suicide statistics among the Veteran population.  The attached flyer provides more information.

The Ammerman Campus presentation will be held on:

 Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Islip Arts Building, Room 115, 533 College Road, Selden, NY 11784

Questions? 631-451-4456 Option 1

Veterans Suicide Prevention

This program is open to all and please share with anyone who would be interested in attending.

Suffolk County Community College Veteran and Military Alumni stay connected


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Nov. 8, 2017 – Suffolk Dedicates New Eastern Campus Veterans Plaza & Honors Student Killed in Action

Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Shaun McKay, joined by College Director of Veterans Affairs Shannon O’Neill ’00, student veterans, veterans, students, faculty and staff will dedicate a portion of the college’s Eastern Campus as a Veterans Plaza in memory of all who served and as a tribute to veterans past and present.

Suffolk County Community College student and Air National Guard Sgt. Louis Bonacasa, 31,  killed in a December 2015 Afghanistan terrorist attack will also be honored. Bonacasa’s widow, Deborah, will speak at the event.

The ceremony, plaza dedication and plaque unveiling will take place rain or shine at Suffolk County Community College’s Eastern Campus, 121 Speonk-Riverhead Rd, Riverhead, NY on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 at 11 a.m. 

“Suffolk County Community College has a long history of assisting veterans not only in maximizing their benefits, but also in supporting a successful transition to college life and achieving their educational and personal goals,” McKay said and added that an additional Veterans Plaza will be dedicated on the Michael J. Grant Campus in 2018, completing veteran tributes on all three of the college’s campuses.

Suffolk County is home to the most veterans in New York State, more than 75,000. Suffolk County Community College has approximately 700 military-connected veterans enrolled.

Veterans Plaza Eastern Campus 2017-11

A Veterans Plaza, outlined in red,  will be dedicated at a college-wide Veterans Day Ceremony, Wednesday November 8, 2017 at Suffolk County Community College’s Eastern Campus in Riverhead. The ceremony will also pay tribute to former Suffolk County Community College student and Air National Guard Sgt. Louis Bonacasa, 31,  killed in a December 2015 Afghanistan terrorist attack. Bonacasa’s widow, Deborah, will speak at the event.


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Veterans Week 2017 at Suffolk County Community College

VeteransWeek2017

VETERANS LUNCHEON
To honor our student Veterans; invitation only, please RSVP to aridasj@sunysuffolk.edu
★ Ammerman Campus: Monday, Nov 6, 11am-1pm Babylon Student Center, Eaton’s Neck

★ Michael J. Grant Campus: Monday, Nov 6, 11am-1pm Captree Commons, Rm C114
PROJECT 22 SCREENING
Project 22 was a 22 day, 6,500 mile motorcycle awareness campaign from San Francisco to New York City to raise awareness of the high rate of suicides within the Veteran community.
★ Ammerman Campus: Monday, Nov 6, 5-7pm Islip Arts Building, Rm 115

★ Eastern Campus: Wednesday, Nov 8, 5-7pm, Montaukett Learning Resource Center, Rm 107
★ Michael J. Grant Campus: Thursday, Nov 9, 5-7 pm, HESC Rm MD 105

WITNESSES TO LIBERATION
The Center for Social Justice presents the joining of a WWII Veteran and a Holocaust Survivor together to share their gripping experiences.

★Ammerman Campus: Tuesday, Nov 7, 11am-12 pm, Babylon Student Center, Montauk Point

COLLEGE-WIDE VETERANS DAY CEREMONY
★ Eastern Campus: Wednesday, Nov 8, 11am-12 pm, Veterans Plaza, Luncheon to follow
The College will also be acknowledging Veterans Day by displaying POW/MIA tables, American flags lining the walkways of campus also known as the “Walk of Honor,” and the display of a Veteran Appreciation Tree. In addition, you will notice there will be green lights in various locations as part the national “Green Light a Vet” initiative.
Questions? Please contact the Veterans Resource Center!

https://www.facebook.com/SFLKVeterans


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Alumnus Chris Mustakas ’16 at Suffolk County Community College Professional Development Day 2017

Alumnus Chris Mustakas ’16 speaks about his transition from Marines to Suffolk County Community College to Fordham University with current faculty and administration from Suffolk County Community College at Professional Development Day.
ChristopherMustakas

Alumni are you interested in speaking at your Alma Mater, Suffolk County Community College?

Let us know and volunteer online!


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Help Us Reconnect with Veterans & Active Duty Military Alumni from Suffolk County Community College

Calling all Suffolk County Community College

Veterans and Active Duty Military Alumni

Vets Square

Suffolk County Community College has a long history of assisting veterans not only in maximizing their benefits, but also in supporting a successful transition to college life and achieving their educational and personal goals. Suffolk embraces the leadership skills and many other unique qualities military service members bring to our institution. With Veterans’ Clubs on each of our three campuses our student Veterans play a vital role in our tri-campus community.

With a wide variety of programs: associate degrees and shorter-term certificates in many career and transfer programs as well as extensive workforce training and development programs, SCCC stands ready to serve our returning Veterans.

Veteran alumni continue their education at institutions such as:

  • Columbia University
  • Hofstra University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • St. John’s University
  • St. Joseph’s College
  • SUNY Albany
  • SUNY Old Westbury
  • Stony Brook University
  • And many more

Please subscribe for updates here and share

https://sunysuffolk.thankyou4caring.org/veteran

Newsday – With state grant, Suffolk community college opens new vets center

newsday-photo-2016-12-21

SCCC Director of Veterans Affairs Shannon O’Neill ’00 sits with Vincent Miller, an Army vet and student at Suffolk County Community College, in a temporary space for vets on the Selden campus. Photo Credit: Ed Betz

Updated December 20, 2016 6:00 AM
By Sophia Chang  sophia.chang@newsday.com

Suffolk County Community College has long reached out to a special group of students: veterans. Last spring, the school opened dedicated resource centers for the veterans on all three of its campuses.

A new $23,000 grant from the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council will go toward building a 1,700-square-foot permanent facility on the Ammerman campus in Selden to assist veterans, moving the center out of its temporary home and into a new facility in Kreiling Hall, which is also slated for renovation.

The grant was part of a total of $62 million awarded to 101 projects on Long Island, announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Dec. 8.

“The crux of the new grant we’re getting will help us to renovate the new facility,” said Shannon O’Neill ’00, director of veterans affairs for Suffolk County Community College.

O’Neill said the school has about 700 veterans or military-connected students among its 26,000 students. The resource centers gather all of the relevant programs and information for the students and help veterans apply for various benefits and assistance.

“The resource centers provide benefit advisement for the GI Bill as well as tuition assistance. We also assist with some job placement programs, especially for specific organizations and corporations looking to recruit veterans,” O’Neill said. “In addition, we work with all local organizations to assist veterans transitioning from the military back into civilian life.”

Vincent Miller, 43, a student from Westhampton Beach, said he’s made use of the SCCC centers as a physical sanctuary as well as a place to learn about benefits.

“It’s been a great asset for veterans coming back in to school – [it] points them in the right direction and a place where you can just come back and relax inside an area with people who have been through the same situation as you,” said Miller, who is studying business management and hopes to run his own automotive or craftsman business someday. “A lot of times you get the resources here you need, like reading materials or scholarships that are strictly for veterans.”

Miller served in the Army as a sergeant first class and was deployed to Iraq in 2003. He’s met fellow veterans in the resource centers as well. “It’s just a great way to reach out and touch other people who have been in the same position,” Miller said.

Another student and veteran, Jason Chervin, 27, of Holbrook, works part-time at the center and says the resource centers offer veterans a sense of community.

“We have veterans coming in with questions that they had coming out of service that aren’t completely answered, and they’re able to use the resources that the VA has to help guide them through the program,” said Chervin, who is planning to transfer to Stony Brook University’s nursing program upon graduating from SCCC. “They have a path, they have some place to go with questions where there’s people who have been through it already or understand or specialize in the field.” he said.

Chervin served in the Navy as a petty officer third class.

Nassau Community College also has a veterans center on its Garden City campus for its 310 veteran students, according to NCC spokeswoman Kate Murray.

The renovation of Kreiling Hall and the construction of the new veterans resource center are to begin in April, and school officials hope to open the center in the spring of 2018.

newsday-2016-12-21

Copyright © 2016   Newsday. All rights reserved.


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Suffolk County Legislature’s Veterans Affairs Committee hears from Shannon O’Neill ’00

Suffolk County Community College Director of Veterans Affairs Shannon O’Neill ’00 testifies before the Suffolk County Legislature’s Veterans Affairs Committee about how our college works to aid the men and women who have served our country, and their eligible dependents.

See more on the Suffolk County Community College Facebook page


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Steven Webb ’14 – Greenport Marine carries Old Glory when he runs — rain, snow or shine

by   The Suffolk Times 01/29/2016 6:00 AM

Greenport_Marine

Maybe you’ve seen him running on the North Fork with an American flag in his hands. Maybe you went to Greenport High School with him or heard about one of his three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Or maybe, while you were sitting inside your Greenport home during Saturday’s blizzard, you noticed Old Glory waving somewhere in the snowy distance, carried by Steven Webb.

No matter how you heard his story, Cpl. Webb, a Greenport native who was honorably discharged from the Marines in 2011, doesn’t carry the American flag with him while he runs along the roads of the North Fork to bring attention to himself.

He carries it to raise awareness about a specific group of veterans who are unable to hold the flag — the men and women who killed themselves after experiencing the horrors of war.

“You know, recognizing troops overseas,” Mr. Webb said when asked why he was carrying the flag around during the middle of what was technically considered a blizzard Saturday. “And, I don’t know how to say this, but veteran suicide is a big problem right now … Airborne Tri-Team is trying to put an end to that. That’s one reason.”

Mr. Webb’s “whole family had been in the military,” he recalled, spawning an interest in joining the armed forces upon his graduation from Greenport High School in 2007.

His grandfather, who died before he was born, received a Purple Heart for his service in World War II. His great-grandfather served in World War I. His father served in Vietnam. His older cousin, with whom he grew up, also served.

After returning from his last deployment, however, the camaraderie Mr. Webb had grown to love in the Marines wasn’t waiting for him when he got home. He managed to find it again with Airborne Tri-Team.

Ron Hurtado founded the organization last year, officially gaining nonprofit status last fall.

According to its website, “The vision of Airborne Tri-Team is to provide extraordinary but accomplishable physical goals to rebuild and maximize self-esteem and to promote a better quality of life — to promote awareness of veterans with invisible wounds who are all around us.”

Staff Sgt. Hurtado, who served in the Army from 2007 through 2015, had trouble sleeping after returning from one of his three deployments. He was reluctantly placed on medication — “I didn’t want to get kicked out of the military,” he said — and had an incident during which he apparently tried to kill himself.

“Apparently” because he doesn’t remember it.

“They tried to put me on more meds and I said, ‘No way,’ ” Mr. Hurtado recalled this week. Instead, he got himself into shape mentally and physically by running 5Ks, 10Ks and triathlons.

Later, Mr. Hurtado noticed a friend falling into a similar pattern he had succumbed to. The two teamed up and “everything came together.” Airborne Tri-Team was born.

After meeting Mr. Webb last year, Mr. Hurtado invited him to become one of the 12 members of Airborne Tri-Team.

“He’s very motivated,” Mr. Hurtado said of the Greenport resident. “He believes in it as much as we do.”

One of the nonprofit’s major missions is to reduce the number of veterans who kill themselves.

A 2012 Suicide Data Report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs noted that “an estimated 22 veterans will have died from suicide each day in the calendar year 2010.” The 56-page report notes the actual number itself “may be subject to reporting error.” In fact, only 21 states were studied. However, the number 22 has since become a rallying call for those lobbying on behalf of veterans, including Mr. Webb and Airborne Tri-Team.

As the report ultimately concludes, even one veteran killing themselves every day is too much: “As long as veterans die by suicide, we must continue to improve and provide even better services and care.”

“We just need more organizations to start up. We need more help,” Mr. Webb said. “And the VA needs to step it up a little bit more, I guess.”

In the meantime, Mr. Webb will be running with his flag — snow or shine.

Photo Caption: Steven Webb walks down Main Street in Greenport during last weekend’s blizzard. (Credit: Cerria Torres)

jpinciaro@timesreview.com


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