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Lisa Upperman has a lifetime of experience with the military. Her father was a combat veteran of World War II and her brother, a wounded combat veteran of Vietnam. She herself served 17 years in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, and another six years in the Army Reserves before retiring as a Sergeant.
"I know first-hand not only what it means to serve, but also the long-term effects that combat - and serious injury - can have on an individual," says Lisa. "My next career goal is to be in a job that lets me help other veterans obtain the benefits they have earned through their service – whether education, disability, or any other type of benefits."
"Columbus State is by far the most veteran-friendly college I've come across."
That requires first gaining legal experience, which will help in navigating through many of the processes required to secure benefits, as well as obtaining the proper certifications. Lisa already holds a bachelor's degree in Security and Intelligence from The Ohio State University. She is adding a certificate in Paralegal Studies from Columbus State in preparation to sit for VA certification as an Accredited Claims Agent.
The large number of active military members and veterans at Columbus State surprised Lisa when she first arrived. "Columbus State is by far the most veteran-friendly college I've come across. They work with you to guide you through the process of not only returning to school, but also getting all the benefits you have earned," says Lisa. With over 1,400 military and veterans currently enrolled at Columbus State, it's clear that many agree with her.
"I was so impressed with the Veterans Services office and everything they provide that, when I got approved for work study, I applied for a job. I now work in the office, which is a great step toward my career goal of helping veterans," she says.