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Local veteran credits Warrior Scholar Project for helping transition from military to college

"This is something I've wanted for a really long time. It's taken a while to get here."
Posted at 6:13 PM, Nov 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-14 11:05:05-05

Pat Hollenbach is months away from turning his curiosity about electrical engineering into a full-time career.

"This is something I've wanted for a really long time. It's taken a while to get here," said Hollenbach.

Before pursuing a college degree at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Hollenbach served six years in the Navy.

"I really enjoyed working on radar and satellite communications. I really loved working with my best friends on the ship all the time, getting the opportunity to go to amazing places all over the world," recalls Hollenbach.

Looking back, Hollenbach says the skills he gained in the military helped him out in college.

"Like discipline, accountability...It really helped me stay focused on my studies."

But he admits navigating college is still hard. He credits a two-week boot camp for veteran students just like him.

"It was just the Google search. It was just randomly, I found Warrior Scholar Project online. I decided to sign up," said Hollenbach. "I knew I wanted to study electrical engineering, but I didn't really have a good background in math or science, but at Warrior Scholar Project, that gave me the tools to be able to succeed in math and science courses in the study skills. So that really made a huge impact on my educational journey."

Such an impact that he went back this past summer and taught with the Warrior Scholar Project at Notre Dame, U of Chicago, Yale University, and at the University of Illinois.

"The opportunity to become like the teacher, if you will, to fellow veterans and active duty members of the military as they decide to transition out and go to school. So it's been a really rewarding experience for me."

An experience he hopes more and more student veterans will seek out to help them through the pitfalls of college life.

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