Veterans Day Featuring S2S DoC Kasie Valenti
My name is Kasie and I am an Army OEF Veteran, full- time working mom and a military spouse.
Let’s backtrack a little and set the stage. I grew up in the sunny state of Florida where I graduated high school in May 2005. That summer I left home to attend the University of Central Florida. Coming from a family where only a handful of members graduated from high school- this was a huge deal! I graduated from UCF in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and commissioned right into the Army at the same time.
I served on Active Duty in the United States Army for 8 years. I had the privilege of holding various leadership positions such a Platoon Leader attached to an all male Infantry Battalion, Executive Officer, Company Commander and a Speech Writer for a Commanding General.
At the time I was concurrently earning my Masters degree. As a first generation student, I stayed in a constant survival state of mind. I knew first hand the importance of education and what life was like without one. Unfortunately, that’s about all I really knew. For the second time, I randomly selected and pursued an area of study without much thought as to how exactly this degree would help support me accomplish my professional goals.
Luckily for me, my degrees were broad enough that I have been able to work my way into a job that surprisingly fits me just right. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case, and many veterans (and civilians too) end up with degrees that do not give them the right educational background needed to reach their dream careers.
It was then when I was finally able to pinpoint “my calling”. My demographics generated a camaraderie and respect from the Soldiers in my company. I needed to help Soldiers understand the benefits of a college education. I wanted to sit down with every single one of them, help them visualize their dreams and build a plan to reach them.
I consider myself a lifelong learner and am extremely passionate about advocating for fellow veterans and first generation students. I feel this innate responsibility to help them further their education in a more informed way. I am now the Director of Communications for Service to School (S2S) and get to do just that!