NECC Welcomes New Veterans Services Coordinator
Haverhill and Lawrence, MA (March 31, 2022) – Northern Essex student veterans are getting more than just another resource to help them navigate college. In new Veterans Services & Special Populations Coordinator Latashia White, they’re also getting someone who knows what it’s like to be in their shoes.
White is originally from Alabama. She enlisted in the Air Force after high school, and was stationed at Hanscom Air Force Base near Bedford, MA. After a tour of duty, White returned home to Alabama, but quickly realized she wanted to come back to the Northeast to attend college. White enrolled at UMASS Lowell, where she earned her bachelors in information technology, and then went on to get her Masters of Social Work from Simmons University.
During her time at UML, White worked in the Veterans & Military Office and became well-versed in helping student veterans access the benefits available to them. She says that will also be a big part of her new role at NECC: “One of the challenges student veterans have is knowing what benefits they’re eligible for. It’s important to be able to connect with students, to talk to students before they even start school and make sure they understand the process.” White is hoping that faculty and staff can help her connect with some of those veterans who might not be aware of all of the services her office can provide. Sometimes, that might just mean an empathetic ear. “Just saying ‘you’re a veteran and I’m a veteran, let’s talk’ can help,” she says. “Every veteran has a story… and they need the support. If they don’t have that support, it makes it harder for them.”
White is also planning to reinstate a chapter of the Student Veterans of America at Northern Essex. The national organization provides guidance on service, research, programs, and advocacy for veterans in higher education.
Northern Essex has about 100 veterans enrolled each semester. In 2021, the school was designated as a Military Friendly® School by Viqtory, a national organization that connects veterans with civilian education, employment, and entrepreneurial opportunities.
The Veterans Office is located in SC214 on the Haverhill campus. White says she hopes to meet more students soon. “I’m here all the time…just come by the office, have a chat, even if you’re not using your benefits.” She can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lwhite@necc.mass.edu.