PGCC Recognizes Veterans Club President Nina Davis during National Military Awareness Month

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Article by: Tabresha B. Langham

For Immediate Release

LARGO, Md. (May 24, 2018) – May is National Military Appreciation Month, a month designated by Congress in 1999 to honor those who serve and have served in the military. The military has played an important role in the history and development of the U.S. Yet, these individuals face many challenges, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), separation from families during deployment, transitioning back to civilian life, and more. Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) aims to make life less challenging and offers several resources to ensure that veterans and those who are active can accomplish their goals.

Nina Davis is a student who served in the U.S. Army and currently serves as the president of the PGCC veterans’ club, Service Members to Scholars. Ms. Davis is very active with the military community at PGCC and in Prince George’s County, and works hard to make sure others know about the resources available at the college.

“Every day I’m bumping into someone who didn’t know there was a veterans’ club,” she said. The club helps transition former military members to civilian life, many of whom, she said, “deal with PTSD and social issues.” Veterans, in addition to active duty members and dependents have access to the services as well as a lounge in Bladen Hall, where military and dependents can go commune with others like them.

Service Members to Scholars is a critical resource for students. The club was established in fall 2013 under the leadership of Dwayne Bourgeois. Mr. Bourgeois started a signature fundraising event in 2011 to raise money for homeless veterans and that eventually led to the establishment of the club. Over the past five years, Service Member to Scholars has played a vital role on the PGCC campus and in the community. It has evolved from only helping homeless veterans to also helping veterans who deal with sexual trauma and other social issues.

The club offers forums and community service projects that enable the military community at the college to give back to the larger military community in the county. The more than 96 members in the club are also able to attend political forums and hear from candidates whose decisions affect the benefits that are important to their livelihoods.

Since Ms. Davis has been the president, she has implemented a loaner book closet to lower the cost of books for past and former military students and their dependents enrolled at PGCC. Students can donate their books so that others can use them for their classes instead of having to spend benefits money to purchase them. She is a big advocate for using benefits wisely and believes that is one of the most important lessons military personnel can learn.

An important priority for her has been making sure that she and her military peers have the things they need most. When she first got out of the military, she was “very rough and very distrusting.” Knowing what faculty and staff to talk to as well as where to go to get help with important things like financial aid has made life easier.

“Mr. Bourgeois has been my biggest pusher,” Ms. Davis explained. Mr. Bourgeois used to advise Service Members to Scholars but is now the program director for Veterans Services. Ms. Davis credits him for helping her find out who she is outside of the military.

The Veterans Services Office is instrumental in helping military students obtain and use their benefits properly. Its location on campus is convenient for students and allows them to get help with filing paperwork and other tasks that are hard to accomplish at other places. Other programs are also available, including Veterans Upper Bound, which helps to transition veterans back into college, and Vocational Rehab, which serves veterans with disabilities.

About Prince George’s Community College
Named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security (2015-2020), Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) provides high-quality education and training for the progressive and career-oriented residents of Prince George’s County. From new high school graduates and career seekers to more seasoned professionals and senior citizens looking to enhance their skillsets, PGCC is comprised of students who represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and goals. Serving nearly 40,000 individuals annually, the college is the first choice for higher education for residents of Prince George’s County. Collaborative partnerships, responsive degree and training programs, and a commitment to student success enable PGCC to address diverse education and workforce development demands. For more information, visit the college website at Prince George’s Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; (267-284-5000); Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.