Student Veterans to Benefit from New Dedicated Center at LaGuardia Community College

$20,000 from New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. to establish Battle Buddy Center to help veterans successfully transition to student life

Long Island City, NY—December 7, 2015—LaGuardia Community College has received $20,000 from the New York State Industries for the Disabled, Inc. (NYSID) to establish a Battle Buddy Center for student veterans. The new Center will replace and expand the Veteran Services Center that has been at the College since shortly after its doors first opened in 1971. It is intended as a one-stop comprehensive service and recreation center for veterans transitioning from military service to student life. Resources will include registration guidance, benefits assistance, career advising, peer mentoring, computer resources, and opportunities to meet other veterans at the college.

“We are committed to providing our veterans with the support they need to have a smooth path towards college and earning a degree,” said LaGuardia Community College President Dr. Gail O. Mellow. “The Battle Buddy Center will allow us to enhance our veterans services, and we thank our partners for helping to make this possible.”

LaGuardia’s Vice President for Student Affairs Michael A. Baston and Stephen Clark, Director of Veterans Services, thanked NYSIDPresident and CEO Ron Romano, and representatives from Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey which is collaborating with NYSID, for their dedication to supporting veterans, at an event held at the College on Nov. 30.

“NYSID supports LaGuardia Community College and its veteran services office in assisting veterans achieve success personally, academically and professionally,” said Mr. Romano. “Based upon the current veteran population and the anticipated growth of veterans’ programs and services, NYSID is pleased to partner with LaGuardia Community College and Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey in this Battle Buddy Center.”

“We’re grateful to NYSID for their generous support for this new, enhanced center for our student veterans,” said LaGuardia Vice President Baston. “As the number of veterans among our student population continues to grow, their support, along with the collaboration from the Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, will help enhance their experience here at LaGuardia and is an important recognition of their service to our nation.”

“The confidence shown to us by NYSID and Goodwill Industries is an honor, and will help support our ongoing efforts to make our student-facing offices veteran and military competent,” said Mr. Clark.

LaGuardia student Rick Malone, a US Coast Guard veteran, and vice president of the Student Veterans Club, spoke at the event about the importance of having a dedicated facility for veterans at the College.

“We know first-hand how difficult things can seem shortly after leaving the highly disciplined world of the military – and we hope this new Center will help make the transition to civilian life as easy as possible,” said Mr. Malone.

The Battle Buddy Center at LaGuardia is the 10th such center created since 2011 and the first in the borough of Queens.

“Battle Buddy” is a military concept that partners soldiers to assist each other both in and out of combat. Battle Buddy Centers offer activities to encourage camaraderie and foster veterans to give and receive mutual support.

To read NYSID’s press release about the new Battle Buddy Center at LaGuardia, click here.


About LaGuardia Community College

LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at a rate 20% higher than the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit to learn more.