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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 www.pgcc.edu. Prince George’s Community College is accredited by the Middle
States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA
19104; (267-284-5000); www.msche.org.The
Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting
agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council on Higher