Congrats Helen! Marine Corps Veteran gets accepted in the Yale Eli Whitney Students Program!

Tell us about yourself, Helen!

Hometown: Lake Forest, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: When I was little, I would ask my parents to leave out full meals for Santa because I thought he got tired of so many cookies.

What did you do in the military: Chinese cryptologic linguist

What was your proudest accomplishment in the military? I felt proud of my military service every time I was able to connect my fellow servicemembers with mental health resources or help them feel comfortable with the idea of reaching out for help at all.

School and Anticipated Major: Yale Eli Whitney Students Program, Archaeological Studies

Why did you decide to pursue this education path? Growing up mixed-race, I have had the opportunity to be fully immersed in very different cultures. This made me become very interested in how language, history, genealogy, nationality, and related factors shape who someone becomes. Archaeology will allow me to examine past cultures and their development to better understand what they have become and how they influence us today.

What was the biggest benefit to using Service to School throughout the application process? Through S2S, I received a great deal of help through the VetLink Addendum and a great deal of guidance on how to write a personal statement or application essay. Due to my limited knowledge of and experience with writing personal statements, S2S played a crucial role in my understanding of how to write these essays.

How has the transition been from the military to civilian life? I always had plans to pursue higher education after the military. Though there are social and educational growing pains associated with the transition from military to civilian life, I have been very fortunate to have so many opportunities. It’s important for veterans to know that the opportunities are there, it is on us to make the choice to pursue them.

What are you most excited about in regards to starting school? What’s your favorite part about the school you chose to matriculate at? After a year of online classes, I’m excited to finally be attending class in person and exploring the campus. I really look forward to the Eli Whitney Students Program at Yale University. I cannot wait to be part of this program intended for non-traditional students and to be immersed in this community.

What are your goals post-graduation? After my undergraduate, I plan to attend graduate school to continue my education in archaeology and participate in research.

Helen’s advice for veterans who are applying to college:

Like many veterans I know, I initially planned to pursue an education in business. However, it did not take long for me to realize that the desire to “be my own boss” did not translate into an interest in a business education. Through the Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) and classes I took during my first year of college, I was fortunate enough to realize what field held my attention the most. I found that my success in those classes was driven by a genuine interest in expanding my knowledge of that field. Therefore, my greatest advice for future applicants is to take a wide variety of classes to either solidify their interest in a field or guide them to one that is right for them. Being open to this early on helps immensely in deciding what colleges one should apply to.

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