Veteran Luis Herrera praised the Veterans Resource Center at Foothill College during a Nov. 11 Veterans Day ceremony in downtown Los Altos.

• Mission: The Foothill College Veterans Resource Center offers a supportive environment that enables the success of its student veterans through academics, wellness initiatives and camaraderie. It also provides support services for student veterans and members of the military and/or their dependents.

Located on the Foothill campus, the VRC offers veterans opportunities to pursue educational and career goals. The center is committed to supporting veterans in achieving academic success, experiencing professional growth and attaining meaningful employment.

• 2021 update: Foothill College enrolls, annually on average, 400 veterans and active-duty military personnel. Since its founding in 2010, the Veterans Resource Center has served, annually on average, 185 students using their Veterans Affairs benefits. Although the VRC’s on-campus location has been closed since the lockdown began in March 2020, it continues to offer student veterans many of the same critical services that are offered on the Foothill campus, including virtual office hours on Zoom, academic counseling, financial aid information, admission application and VA benefits assistance, and book vouchers.

While VRC students and staff miss being on campus, the opportunity to connect with one another in daily Zoom chats has helped them maintain the community and camaraderie the VRC is known for.

After transitioning to remote learning during the pandemic, students made clear that it was a stressful and challenging situation for them, according to veterans resource specialist Julie Brown. Some of their stressors included Zoom fatigue, mental health and overall well-being.

VRC services continue to be an important resource for students. In some cases, they become one of the determining factors in their success.

“We have learned during these prevalent times that we need to continue to establish a virtual space that is equivalent to being on campus even after we go back in person, so our student veterans can continue to connect and receive the necessary support they need to be successful with all the meansw of connection we have as a center of support,” Brown said.

• Why the Holiday Fund is needed: Donations fund the VRC’s book voucher program, currently its most used service. The vouchers help student veterans pay for books they may not be able to afford, as well as school supplies such as calculators, Scantron multiple-choice test sheets, blue books, study kits, and more.

With the increase in online courses, the vouchers also enable students to afford online access to their electronic course materials.

Veterans Resource Center at Foothill College

Location: 12345 S. El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills

Founded: 2010

Annual budget: N/A

Staff: 1 full-time staff member; temporary work-study students hired on a quarterly basis