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Taylor James

Student on Active Military Duty Finds His Path Thanks to SCC

Transitioning into college is never a simple task for any student. For veterans or active military, it can pose a few more difficult situations. Current member of Army National Guard, Taylor James, is a student who is currently trying to juggle school, military service, and raising his young son. When James first began his educational career some years ago, he says, “I had no appreciation for my education, or drive to complete it. It just wasn’t for me.”

Taylor JamesNow wanting to make a better future for not only himself, but also for his son, James had the motivation and a purpose to finish college. When he began at Santiago Canyon College (SCC), James had it in the back of his mind that he would continue a career in a field of criminal justice or fire science. His first path led him towards studying criminal justice, where English professor Nidzara Pecenkovic worked steadfastly with him on his essays. She introduced him to a police writer from California State University, Long Beach, to discuss further options of education in a field of police work.

“It’s nice to know the teachers are looking out for you and your future no matter your circumstances,” says James. “It really strengthened my determination to complete my education.”

Despite the days when James was called for duty, Pecenkovic supported and worked with him so that he did not fall behind in his studies. “They want you to succeed here at SCC,” says James.

Upon speaking and connecting with fellow members of the Veterans Club that he is part of, James ultimately decided upon pursuing a career as a firefighter to be more present for his son. The support from his teacher, though, gave James the extra confidence he needed to continue and complete his educational career.