Following roughly eight years of service at home and abroad I left the ranks of the military to obtain a college degree. The intent of this degree was to earn my Right of Passage to the US Army Officer Candidates Course so that I could continue to serve with honor. I majored in Professional Studies Criminal Justice obtaining numerous Dean’s List awards while working full time as a janitor and taking no less than 15 hours a semester.
I managed to graduate with a 3.36 GPA in three years, only to have the door of reality slammed in my face following graduation. That reality was the downsizing of the military. Degree in hand I applied to every branch of service for OCS, but all to no avail. In short order, I found myself seeking new enlistment with any branch that would take me, again producing no opportunity. I found myself slipping further into debt working for menial pay, ultimately filing for bankruptcy losing my home and vehicle.
Following my position as a janitor I worked as an installer of fiberglass insulation, “quite possibly the most miserable thing I have ever done”. After that, I managed to land a job as a defense contractor functioning as a Financial Technician at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock Arkansas until that position was eliminated due to budget cuts. I then took a job as a delivery driver for O’Reilly Auto Parts which I did until I landed a job a Correctional Officer for the state of Arkansas. Currently, I am an employee of the US Federal Bureau of Prisons. Not the dream job I was looking for, but at the least a secure position that enables me to continue to provide for my little girl.
Since taking the job as a Correctional Officer I have been taking classes with American Public University, and currently have a 4.0 GPA. The quarter semester beginning on January the 5th 2015 will exhaust my GI-Bill benefits placing me in a position to find alternate means of funding for my collegiate studies. That being said, I understand that I am just like so many other people working their way through school, possibly in a better place being that I obtained my undergraduate education on the GI-Bill. But, so many other people may not have done or seen what I have that enabled me to use that education benefit.
My military service is what got me through the door with the BOP, but the acquisition of an M.A. in Criminal Justice will get me through the next door in my pursuit of career development. This graduate degree will enable me to be considered for careers in the realm of criminal investigations, which opens many more doors than just the next federal prisons “Sally Port”. I hope that you find this bit of my history worthy of a scholarship to continue working towards my graduate degree.
We are proud to announce Scott Hunter is one of the current DiversityJobs Scholarship finalists. Vote for his essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.