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At least one member of the military has learned that serving your country does not have to conflict with fulfilling personal goals. United States Coast Guard Seaman Jeremy Frizzell is earning an Associate in Arts degree this spring thanks to the Independent Studies program at Miami Dade College (MDC).
Not only does Jeremy work full time at the Richmond Coast Guard Base in Southwest Miami-Dade County, he also holds a second job as a security guard. If not for the flexibility of the Independent Studies program, Jeremy says it would have taken him several more years to complete his AA.
“Independent Studies is great for people who work full time, have kids or, like me, serve in the military,” said the 22-year-old. “I get together with my professors at the Kendall Campus during the first week of the term to go over the syllabus and assignments and then go there for scheduled testing. I can meet with them when I need assistance, one-on-one. They’ve always been there to help. They’ve been great,” Jeremy added.
Despite his rigorous schedule, Jeremy has been successful, earning distinction as “Outstanding Student of the Year in Independent Study” along with a 3.6 grade point average. “Whenever I got a chance to study, I did,” he modestly explained. He has also found time for community service, volunteering as a tutor to at-risk kids and helping to plant trees at Metro Zoo.
Jeremy is completing his third of a four-year hitch in the Coast Guard and has noticed a difference between when he enlisted and since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the start of war in Iraq.
“At my communications station, we support the vessels on patrol and they are a lot busier,” he said. “I also have seen a real change in the attitude of others. There seems to be a lot more respect for members of the military and that makes me proud to be a part.” Nonetheless, Jeremy does not plan to re-enlist and instead is seeking a degree in Criminal Justice and eventually law school.
To learn more about Miami Dade College, visit www.mdcc.edu.