Student Spotlight 2023: Clare VanPelt, USMC

Tell us about yourself.

I am from Houston, Texas, and currently serve on active duty in the United States Marine Corps as an air traffic control technician. I decided to join the military because my mother had given me an ultimatum. She said, “The military or college, or I’m disowning you.” At that time, I was burnt out of education and decided I wanted to serve my country. A fun fact about myself is that I am a solo traveler. I love exploring places by myself! As I write this, I’m in New Orleans, learning about the world-shaking history of such a beautiful city. And doing pub crawls. yum!

Why did you decide to participate in WSP this summer, and was there a shift in your confidence level from the first day of the course to the last day?

Before attending the humanities and business course at Yale University, I completed some college. I’m pretty directionless in terms of what I want to do outside of the Marine Corps, but I always thought of returning to school full-time. Warrior-Scholar Project confirmed that for me. 

I’ve always been pretty confident about most things – that is the Marine Corps impact. I didn’t know how I would enjoy a classroom atmosphere, so I’d say about a three out of ten. By the time the course was over, my confidence was at a ten. I loved every second. It reinvigorated my desire for education a thousand-fold. I even wrote my best essay ever!

What were some key insights you gained during your course, and what is your biggest takeaway?

Education doesn’t have to be a one-size-fits-all experience. You can tailor it to your needs. Also, there’s always someone like-minded around the corner; you just have to find your niche. My biggest takeaway from the course was how to efficiently (and enjoyably) write a bang-up essay. Shout-out to Jai and Marcus!

In one word, how would you describe your overall experience?


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