Local Veteran Honored with National Scholarship Award
TELACU Empowers Former Marine to Succeed in Higher Education
TELACU is committed not only to recognizing the military servicemen and servicewomen who have sacrificially protected the liberties our nation enjoys today, but also to equipping veterans like Conly Mims to reach new levels of academic and personal success in the next chapter of their lives. A former US Marine, Mims is one of seven veterans selected from across the nation to receive the National Association of Veterans Upward Bound Project Personnel Scholarship.
After completing his military service in the Vietnam War era, Mims enrolled in college in Chicago to begin his endeavors in higher education. However, Mims’ studies were inhibited by severe substance addictions with which he had struggled since high school. Eventually a serious train accident left him physically handicapped and in a deep state of depression, causing him to drop out of college.
Decades later Mims entered into the Salvation Army Rehabilitation Program in Los Angeles, where he successfully achieved two years of sobriety and learned of TELACU’s Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) Program—the only VUB chapter in California, home to the largest veteran population in the nation. Through its wealth of resources, college prep courses, and one-on-one advisement, VUB motivated and equipped Mims to continue the pursuit of higher education he had once abandoned.
“The in-depth guidance and support network provided by TELACU have proven to be vital assets in my journey toward earning a college degree,” said Mims, who is now a full-time student at Los Angeles City College majoring in Human Services with a Drug-Alcohol Counseling emphasis. “I am now acquiring the expertise I need to help build healthy communities by counseling others who are fighting the same addictions I have battled.”
Utilizing all the skills he developed through VUB, Mims completed his first semester with a 4.0 GPA, and plans to transfer next year to California State University, Dominguez to earn his Bachelors in Human Services. Mims currently facilitates various recovery and personal enhancement groups and reaches out to young people in gang territories, guiding them toward alternatives to destructive lifestyles.
TELACU’s VUB Program provides veterans with the resources and support they need to make a smooth, effective transition into college and ultimately achieve their degree. VUB provides free college prep courses in Computer Science, English, Math, Typing and Spanish. Participants receive personalized attention from experienced instructors, as well as comprehensive support services—including advisement on GI Bill benefits and assistance with the college enrollment process.
TELACU is a pioneering institution committed to service, empowerment, advancement, and the creation of self-sufficiency.
Date: July 3, 2009
Source: TELACU News Release