Jason Neto joined SPSCC as a returning student after serving in the Army for seven years. After receiving his Associate in Arts, he followed his passion for helping others and began his next mission as a Retirement Specialist at the Department of Retirement Systems.
“For the veterans out there, I know that it’s difficult once you transition out of the military,” said Jason. “You’re always trying to find that next mission.”
Jason is a veteran and has served in the Army for seven years. He began in the infantry before transitioning into Information Technology. “That gave me a nice overview of what the Army does and some of the different jobs they offer,” he said.
Once he had finished his time in the Army, he decided to return to college. As a transitioning service member and returning student, Jason faced many obstacles. In addition to navigating Veterans Affairs and the GI Bill®, he also had to learn to be a student again.
“It had been a long time since I had taken any classes,” said Jason. “Just getting back into that student mindset and figuring out how to complete assignments and use different computer programs was hard.” Jason knew that was a critical point to his success in college, and he embraced his life experience and positivity to move forward. He connected with professors and fellow veterans and built a community of his own, working toward earning his Associate in Arts university transfer degree.
“It was difficult, but as long as you continue to turn in your assignments and seek out help from your professors it’s possible,” said Jason. “A lot of students don’t take advantage of office time. Everyone is there to help and there’s a ton of resources.”
As he neared graduation, Jason prepared to begin a career and also continue taking online classes to earn a bachelor’s degree. He was looking for something that focused on helping others.
“I found that here at the Department of Retirement Systems,” he said. “I get to help a lot of fellow state workers with their retirements and answer any questions to help them make permanent life decisions. The job is very rewarding although challenging. I’m happy I get help people through this job.”
Jason believes that his experience as a veteran at SPSCC was very positive. “There’s a lot of resources, the Veterans Center, and the teachers are very helpful. Knowing I was an older student, they were there to guide me and gave me any extra help I needed to complete the classes or study to improve my grades.”
“This gives you a set goal,” said Jason. “It gives you that regimented lifestyle that you’re used to. It gives you something to work towards. It will give you that huge sense of accomplishment once you’ve completed it.”