New coordinator helping veterans at SBCC
For many young veterans, transitioning out of military service and into college life can be a real culture shock. Having somewhere – and someone – to turn to for support during that transition can be a critical part of the journey back to civilian life.
Kyle Rasmussen, the new Veterans Support and Resource Center Coordinator at Santa Barbara City College, understands the important role he plays for local student veterans.
“The first two years after a veteran gets out of the service is their hardest time, in my opinion,” Rasmussen said. “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.”
Rasmussen, originally from Kentucky, has extensive experience in human resources management, budget planning, and U.S. military policies and procedures. He served in the Marine Corps from 2001 to 2009 before moving to Santa Barbara and attending City College from 2009 to 2010. He transferred to UCSB in 2011, and graduated in 2012 with a degree in history and a minor in earth science.
Prior to joining SBCC in 2017, Rasmussen worked as a human resources assistant Department of Defense.
Rasmussen expresses excitement about his new position and the ability it gives him to start making an impact on SBCC student veterans.
“So far it has been very positive and open. 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.
The foundation supports veterans and active-duty members, and related partner organizations, in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties as well as preserving military history and legacy. It is funded entirely by private donations.
“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.”
To learn more about the Santa Barbara City College Veteran Center, visit http://www.sbcc.edu/veteranssupport.