Two years removed from his final deployment in the Philippines Jacob Travis wakes up each morning knowing his story can benefit others who’ve walked in his shoes.
A former United States Marine, Travis is pursuing an associate degree in Business at the Community College of Rhode Island with the dream of one day working with fellow veterans to ensure they get the help and guidance they need to transition back to civilian life.
“I’m blessed to be in this position. I’ve been through the hardships and I’ve made it out, even when there were times I didn’t think I would,” said Travis, a Cranston native. “Now I have such a different outlook on life.”
In addition to his studies, Travis revived the college’s Student Veterans Organization chapter and is working at CCRI’s Veterans Services Office through the VA’s work-study program.
A third-generation Marine, Travis joined the Marine Corps at the age of 19. Military life provided the structure he needed to succeed. “It was a huge wakeup call, and I gave in to the transformation,” Travis said. “I feel like it was instilled in me from when I was a child because of how my dad raised me.”
He worked as an Ammunition Technician Specialist and served two deployments, one in Japan and the other in the Philippines. Like many veterans, Travis had trouble reacclimating to the civilian lifestyle and battled substance abuse following his honorable discharge. Enrolling at CCRI and meeting other military veterans who shared the same struggle has helped him turn his life around.
Now he’s driven to help others who’ve traveled the same path. The next step is to earn his associate degree and transfer to Bryant University to major in Leadership and Innovation Management with a minor in Psychology, all while ensuring his fellow student veterans have access to the help they need.
“I want to use my story to help others,” Travis said. “[Veterans] know how to help people. We have a passion. There’s something instilled in each one of us that drives us to continue serving for the greater good. I want to help people not make the same mistakes I made.”
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