Student Spotlight 2023: Jared Yee, USMC

Tell us about yourself.

I am from Houston, Texas, and served as a food service specialist in the United States Marine Corps. I decided to join the military because I wanted to do something bigger than myself and serve for a cause. I also knew I would regret it if I didn’t serve. A fun fact about me is that I have been to 31 countries, mostly in Europe and Asia.

What was your educational background prior to attending WSP, and which of our courses did you attend? 

Before enlisting in the Marine Corps, I was in college at Austin Peay University and attended WSP’s humanities and business courses at Yale University after departing the military.

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?

I wanted to prepare myself for school in the fall and get to the same academic level that traditional students would be at. On the first day of the course, I was nervous that I didn’t belong at an institution like Yale. But, I was relieved that I would be going through this process with fellow service members and veterans. On the final day, I was drastically more confident than at the beginning of the course. I felt reassured that I could bring value and participate in an academically rigorous environment.

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

Veterans belong in higher education, and we can contribute just as much to academic discussions as traditional students. I was also amazed by the network exposure that WSP gives you. Not only did I get to speak one-on-one with world-class professors but also with incredible student veterans doing amazing things. However, the biggest takeaway was the power of the veteran network. Despite the challenges that veterans face, we are eager to lend a helping hand.

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

Necessary! I felt I needed this program to reassure myself that I could pursue higher education. I also think it’s necessary for any transitioning service member to attend one of these programs. Even if a veteran isn’t considering college, it’s important to know at least what options are out there and what they’re capable of.

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