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U.S. Marine veteran sees ‘education as the way to the future’

wcccd news logoSgt. Lawrence Brooks and other U.S. veterans were recently recognized for their educational achievement and service to the country during the WCCCD 45th Annual Commencement Exercises at Ford Field.

Lawrence Brooks has always been a determined individual.  He decided to join the military when he was only in the 12th grade.  He promised his mother he would complete his GED during his time in the service.  He did just that.

Brooks served in the U.S. Marine’s Special Force Task out of Hawaii.  His service taught him a very important lesson — to complete any endeavor he started.

“I always had a strong desire to learn.  During my time in the military, I prepared myself to get back into civilian life. I finished my GED and it feels wonderful to have accomplished my task.”

Brooks met with various recruiters from educational institutions while he was in the military.  Talking with them helped strengthen the desire to further pursue his education.  And he did.

DIPLOMABrooks, now 70 years old, recently graduated from Wayne County Community College District with an Associate of Applied Science degree in electrical electronics engineering technology. At the graduation exercises, Sergeant Brooks and other veterans were recognized for their service to the nation.

“I felt really special being recognized for both roles as veteran and as a WCCCD graduate during the commencement ceremony,” he said.

When asked why he chose WCCCD, Brooks replied, “Because, the people at the college really helped me understand my options.” Brooks chose a curriculum in electrical electronics engineering because he wanted to work in a field where he could utilize his creative talents and add something new.

He admits that it was difficult getting back in the classroom.  However, Brooks was determined to complete his degree.

“My English course helped me get back into the studying habit.  I’m a hands-on person. (WCCCD) taught me how to work with other students and helped me enhance my communication skills.”

Brooks feels the faculty at WCCCD provided valuable lessons and positive educational experiences in the classroom.

“Professor Thomas taught a course on African American Struggles. It made me aware of the U.S. Constitution and my rights as a U.S. citizen. I was impressed by his knowledge. He provided me with the confidence in knowing I can do what I have to do.”

Brooks’ zest for knowledge led him to pursue a second degree.  He will be graduating in May 2015 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in heating, ventilation and air conditioning.  He is also interested in becoming an entrepreneur and investing in real estate. He will do just that.

Brooks’ advice for other veterans is to go back to school. “Education is the way to the future.  Without it, you will be lost.  You are never too old to go back to school.”

WCCCD offers an Associate of Applied Science in electrical electronics engineering technology as well as four certificate degree options.

These programs prepare students for a wide range of job opportunities including; installation and maintenance of electronic equipment in manufacturing, research, development, medicine and communications, while preparing students for International Society of Certified Technician certification exams.

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