Cesia Garzon and Victor Correa 
Military Service Veterans Turned College Students
by Holly Tsang
Mar 23, 2010 | 40809 views | 0 0 comments | 411 411 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The New York City College of Technology (City Tech) was recently ranked one of America’s Top 20 Military-Friendly Colleges by Military Advanced Education. Cesia Garzon and Victor Correa are just two of over 225 military veterans currently pursuing their college degrees at City Tech.

The new Post-9/11 GI Bill provides Garzon, 25, with increased opportunities such as tuition and a monthly allowance that helps pay for rent, electricity and books. She is also taking advantage of resources from the college’s Veterans Support Services Office (VSSO).

The VSSO can also help Garzon and other vets find additional sources of aid including the Federal Work-Study Program, NYS Veterans Tuition Awards, VA Work-Study Programs and the Vocational Rehabilitation Program.

“I know that through that office I can get referrals to other available services for veterans,” said Garzon, who served as a supply clerk in Kuwait and Iraq from 2002 to 2006.

Before starting school, she held a job taking inventory at Home Depot. She is now considering a career in merchandising.

“I would advise veterans thinking of college to pursue their education,” said Garzon, “because it is a path to success.”  

Correa, 56, has spent much of his adult life in the culinary field, including a three-year stint as an army chef/baker in Germany, during which he cooked for 600 soldiers.

“I first started college in 1979,” said Correa, “but juggling school, research, a job at the World Trade Center and screaming kids meant getting to sleep at one in the morning and up at five to get to work at seven.”

He earned an Associate’s degree from the former New York Restaurant School and completed an internship with celebrity chef and City Tech alumnus Michael Lomonaco. Correa went on to become a member of the Gracie Mansion culinary staff from 2000 to 2003.

Now a grandfather, he is ready for a change of pace, enrolling in City Tech in Fall 2009 to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in hospitality management.

“Most cooking schools don’t have a hospitality program, and I want to expand to other things,” said Correa. “At my age, I want to do more than stand in front of an oven!”

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