BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — It was all smiles at Harley Davidson Friday morning as the Armed Forces Support Services donated money to Bakersfield College and Cal State Bakersfield.
"It’s heartwarming," said co-founder Ben Patten.
Patten said community members made generous donations during the pandemic. So during a board meeting, the nonprofit decided to use that money to help local veterans going to school. They reached out to the two universities.
“We inquired if they had a program where we could give them money but it would be specifically for veterans. They both did," said Patten.
Each college received $1,500 to provide veterans with books and school supplies. As a veteran himself, Patten said it’s rewarding to make that kind of difference.
“These young people, they have such an advantage other veterans didn’t have, and the opportunity to help them become doctors or engineers, it’s overwhelming. It’s the right thing to do," he said.
Bakersfield College Veterans Educational Adviser Armando Trujillo is also a veteran. He said going to school can be a tough transition for people returning from the military.
"This donation is valuable to all our students’ success. Students come in at different times of their life. They might have discharged from the military yesterday and classes start next week," said Trujillo.
And CSUB Veteran Success Center Coordinator Jamie Pacheco said the donations from the Armed Forces Support Services will help.
"If I do see a student that needs additional assistance or have financial barriers, we have a resource that we can offer to them that can assist them to make their transition into the university smooth," said Pachecho.
If you’d like to donate or learn more about the nonprofit, visit their website here.
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