My name is Daniel Prestridge, a United States Navy Veteran, and my major is mechanical engineering. Some of my career goals is to design automated assembly lines to help with the production and distribution of products. I do work around engineers at my job, but I am not where I see myself later in life. I went into service because although I was pushed to succeed by my Dad, school just didn’t click for me, so I started working as soon as I was legal and eventually chose what I thought would be my career. The branch I chose was the Navy mostly because my grandfathers on both sides were Navy and it seemed like right fit for me. Plus, I did Army JROTC for three years and I hated the green uniforms.
My transition into the college life was difficult. Being older and having much more responsibilities puts us in a completely different situation than traditional students. I have four-year-old and it doesn’t matter if finals are the next day I make time to spend with her. The CVSC has impacted the transition into college. They were very helpful in registration and the easing the transfer process from my other college where I didn’t take benefits until the very end of my last semester. I didn’t use their resources when I first started going to school but I wish I did.
Because of the center, it has taken a huge burden off of me by helping out with benefits which is a huge help. Also, I always come in to remind myself that other people are in a similar situation like me and makes me think if they can do it so can I. The center, specifically, Charlotte Kemper, is the whole reason I know about my job as well as the work of the job. The center has many opportunities to speak with employers that come to the center and resources to find jobs if I were in the market. I may not be in the market for a job, but I know the center has ample support for employment. When the time comes, I’m sure I’m going to need those resources and it’ll be there.
I use the CVSC as a resource for many reasons including printing important papers and using the computer for schoolwork when I need a quiet place. The positive energy is refreshing because school can bring you down sometimes. The people at the desk are inviting; sometimes there’s food but they always have coffee which is an engineering student’s lifeblood.
Charlotte Kemper, is an amazing person whom is the reason why I am at the University of Florida. She has helped me in countless ways from setting me up as a tutor which led to a deeper understanding of my material and my success in classes to guiding me through the application process and introducing me to helpful people at the center who study in my field. I wish we could have more Charlottes in this world because if she doesn’t have the answer she knows someone who does and she cares about our success and our well-being.