AEW brings education seekers; gives opportunities

by Noriko Kudo, U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public Affairs
U.S. Army

CAMP ZAMA, Japan -- Camp Zama's Education Center hosted an Education Symposium Nov. 18 inside the Black Box at the Camp Zama Community Activity Center during American Education Week held Nov. 16 to 20 at the installation.

Soldiers from various units, their Family Members and other community members attended the symposium to learn about educational opportunities that are available to them.

David Rood, education services officer, said the theme for this year's AEW was "Army Continuing Education-Soldiers for life, Education for Life."

"We do this every year in November for American Education Week," said Rood, with subject matter experts present to discuss topics such as USA Jobs, Veterans Affairs, College Level Examinations Program (CLEP), Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES), and more information from the colleges on post.

It is important to promote and market education to community members, said Rood.

"Education is probably the best investment you could give yourself in your life."

"I am hoping," said Rood, "that some of the lights will go on in the brain and [people] will understand how important education is, and how many benefits there are in the Army regarding education."

Pvt. Ana Thronson, assigned to 78th Signal Battalion, said she is very interested in education.

"Coming to a meeting like this, I know it would be very beneficial for me to take some notes and educate myself a little bit more on the opportunities that can open up to me in the future," said Thronson.

"I definitely will take advantage of being at Camp Zama and having such a great team to come and explain everything that I wanted to know."

Pfc. Maurice Reaves, assigned to 78th Signal Battalion, said some people don't know what they are entitled to or what they can do after they transition out the military.

"I think something like this is good to get us educated so we know what we need to do," said Reaves.

Chuck Hopkins, field adviser from Central Texas College, said, "If you don't have a degree of some sort then you are behind the power curve."

"The only person that can hold you back from being successful in your life is yourself," said Hopkins. "Don't sit back and let life pass you by."

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