John Harwell first enrolled in TELACU’s Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) Program in September of 2006. At the time, John was unemployed and living in a veteran’s homeless shelter. John’s goal when he joined VUB was to enhance his employability in a new field that would accommodate his physical disabilities. John demonstrated strong academic ability during the VUB Program, where he began to forge a new path for himself.
Upon graduation from the VUB Program, John enrolled at East Los Angeles College, where he completed his Associate of Arts degree and graduated Cum Laude with a 3.82 GPA. However, due to difficult life circumstances, John was unable to enroll in a four-year college.
Fortunately, with the assistance of a Los Angeles County veteran services officer, John received the support he needed to move forward, also applying for Veterans Administration (VA) Vocational Rehabilitation (Ch 31) benefits, which were granted. John was then accepted to California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) for the Computer Technology Homeland Security degree program.
In addition to his full-time course load, John was an active member of several student and professional organizations on campus and in the community, including Disabled American Veterans, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the CSUDH Veterans Alliance. Additionally, John became a Scholar in the TELACU College Success Program, where he received professional development, and academic and financial support.
John graduated from CSUDH in 2013, and is currently working at CSUDH in the Computer Science Department. Throughout his academic career, John has been recognized as an exceptional scholar in spite of much adversity. He fully embodies the mission of the TELACU Education Foundation to empower Scholars to succeed in higher education.