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Veterans Student Profiles

Stefanie McBride, Lynn, MA

Stephanie McBride

Stefanie McBride enrolled in the Aviation Management program at North Shore Community College in the fall of 2012. As a determined, newly single mother of four Stefanie is working hard to carve a future for herself in the aviation industry. "I could work at Logan airport, be a flight attendant, hold a management position at General Electric or even become a pilot." Two and half years in the Army as an Aviation Operations Specialist included an 11 month tour of Korea. That and over ten years as a stay-at-home mom gave Stefanie the conviction to turn her career dreams into reality.

"I don't have one bad professor. They are all caring, compassionate and want to make sure you understand and implement what they are teaching. Even when you're doing well, they don't pass you over, they acknowledge your work." Stefanie is now attending college thanks to the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) and Financial Aid.

William Taylor, Topsfield, MA

William Taylor

William Taylor has always been fascinated by the mechanics of how things work, but he admits he was not the best student in high school. William served 6 years in the Army - including 3 years in the National Guard and 3 years active duty as an infantryman. During this time he did a 12 month tour in Afghanistan. Now William is attending college full-time thanks to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. He enrolled at North Shore Community College in the fall of 2012 because of its proximity to home and the excellent reputation of its engineering program. "I also really like how modern the Danvers campus is and how staff here helps you help yourself. There is such a good, positive attitude toward Veterans and helping us access our benefits."

William proudly adds he is now doing very well in all classes - especially in advanced math - and will transfer to a 4-year engineering program soon. "My professional goal is to work in Aerospace. I am interested in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) because they think outside the box. Their projects have scientific and military value."

Ryan Gregory, Weymouth, MA

Ryan Gregory

Ryan Gregory is full of energy and deeply immersed in his experience as a student at North Shore Community College. "I transferred from Massasoit Community College because one of my professors talked to me about NSCC's Fire Protection & Safety Technology program. It's one of the few schools that offers it." Since his enrollment in January of 2012, Ryan has been busy. He is now President of the Veterans Club and Chapter Leader of the Student Veterans of America, all while earning a 3.87 GPA. He is proud to say his lowest grade is an A minus.

Ryan's success is especially inspiring. He dropped out of high school in the tenth grade, eventually joining the Army and serving for 4 years. Ryan did a 13 month tour of Iraq as a Reconnaissance ("Recon") Scout. "It was the best job in the world, I loved it" - he says despite suffering an injury to his shoulder that required two surgeries. "I plan to continue my education, get a bachelor's degree in Fire Science and a master's degree in Political Science. I would also like to run for the Senate one day." His immediate professional goal is to become an arson investigator. He is enjoying his time at NSCC where he also manages to work part-time as a VA Work Study helping other Veterans access their benefits. He adds, "NSCC has an awesome support system for Veterans."

Robert Brancato

Robert Brancato

Robert Brancato is soft-spoken, smart and methodical. "My wife and I were living in Florida but we wanted to move back north." Robert served 6 years in the Navy where he worked as an Aviation Electrician. "I used to get frustrated about how electrical components were designed. One day I realized I could do a better job designing things. I did a nation-wide search for the places that offered the best living standards for Veterans. The North Shore came second after New York."

Robert is now enrolled in the Engineering Science Transfer program at North Shore Community College. "I enrolled at NSCC not only because the Post 9/11 GI Bill's housing allowance is great in this area but because I had heard such great things about the Engineering program here." Now his professional goal is to become an electrical engineer in the computer science field. "I plan to transfer to UMASS Lowell. For now I really like the scheduling flexibility that NSCC offers and really appreciate the great work that the staff in the Veterans Service Office does for us."

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