NIC student to attend Wesleyan through Posse Veterans Program


When Timea Taylor joined the Army in 2013, she had an advantage over many other new recruits—her husband Jeremy had just retired from the Army after serving for eight years.  

“When he decided to leave the Army, I decided to join,” Taylor said. “I was an Army wife who observed and learned through him. I heard his stories about basic training, what he did on a typical day, and bits and pieces of his 16-month deployment into combat in Afghanistan.”

The two have known each other since they were kids, and he always looked out for her. As she prepared to enlist, he taught her as much as he could. How to pack her ruck, study for boards and develop her leadership skills. His unwavering support and pride for his wife held her up through many challenges, including her disbelief when she stood staring at her name on the list of service men and women being deployed to Afghanistan.

Very little could prepare her for the challenges she would face there, but Jeremy did his best. She would be faced daily with life and death situations and struggles that women in the military face and she would have to be strong, clear-minded and resilient through each challenge.

And she was.

After serving a nine-month tour and completing more than 300 drive team missions and more than 700 flight missions as the coordinator of a drive team, Taylor was awarded the Army Commendation Medal—an honor typically not awarded to someone with a Private First Class ranking. And she was able to return home to Jeremy, now her husband of 10 years and supporter for much longer than that.

But that wasn’t the last of Jeremy’s show of support for Taylor.

Taylor had taken some college credits in Georgia, and more in California before the couple moved to Coeur d’Alene where she enrolled full time at North Idaho College in the fall of 2017. In January of this year, Jeremy learned of a program offered through The Posse Foundation, a college access and leadership development program focused on supporting the success of students by providing them with training and services while covering tuition and fees at partner colleges and universities across the nation. The most important support they receive is their membership in a posse—a cohort of 10 students that supports one another throughout their education—to help each other acclimate, study and hold each other accountable.

The Posse Foundation offers a special program for veterans, and Jeremy nominated Taylor to be considered. Her nomination was definitely considered. In fact, The Posse Foundation called her just three hours after he nominated her.

“I didn’t even know what they were talking about,” Taylor said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

A representative from the Posse Veterans Program told Taylor that she had one week to submit all of the required materials for qualification—application, essays, letters of reference, and more.

“I asked them if I even really had a chance,” Taylor said. “I mean, to gather all of this in a week?”

Yes, she had a chance—a very good chance with her qualifications and background. So she got moving quickly. She called her former Communication Instructor Faith Valente at North Idaho College for a letter of reference.

“Not every student would have the wherewithal to actually follow through and get it done in that amount of time,” Valente said. “Something that is really unique about Timea is her drive.”

Valente was right. Taylor’s determination paid off, and two weeks later, she was on a plane to New York with 16 other veterans selected from hundreds of nominations to interview for the Posse Veterans Program.

She relied on Valente for some last-minute advice, hoping Valente could help her draw upon her communication learning and present herself as the strong woman and veteran she knew she was.

“She helped me believe in myself and have confidence that I can do this,” Taylor said.

After three and a half hours of interviewing, she returned home and the next day learned she was one of 10 veterans selected to participate in the Posse Veterans Program. Through the program, she will capitalize on tuition benefits through the Posse Foundation coupled with her GI Bill benefits to attend the prestigious Wesleyan University, which costs nearly $50,000 per year to attend, to pursue a degree in environmental science or anthropology at no cost to her.

“We welcome our students from all walks of life with open arms and prepare them for amazing opportunities. Timea recognized, embraced, and acted on this very special opportunity. Our goal at NIC is to help each and every one of our students do the same," Valente said.

Once again, supporting his wife’s dreams, Jeremy will move with Taylor to Connecticut this summer where she will go through pre-collegiate training sponsored by the Posse Veterans Program to help her prepare for the academic rigor of Wesleyan and set her up to be as successful as possible.

“I didn’t think I had a chance, but I’m really excited to attend Wesleyan,” Taylor said. “I’m ready.”

 

(Above) Former NIC student Timea Taylor, left, with her NIC Communications Instructor Faith Valente caught up recently at NIC. Taylor is the first NIC student to be selected for the national Posse Veterans Program, which enables her to attend Wesleyan University.

(Below) Timea Taylor walks on NIC’s main campus and during her time in the U.S. Army. Taylor was selected out of hundreds of applicants to be able to participate in the national Posse Veterans Program. 

 

 



Posted: Friday, May 11, 2018

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