Tabora Temple, Wiregrass Tech's Military and Veteran Services Director, was among those featured across the nation as one of the 2021 Veteran Champions of the Year in Higher Education in the August issue of G.I. Jobs Magazine. Temple served in the Air Force from 1989-2013 and was recognized for her passion for helping student veterans excel at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College.
Angela Hobby, who is the Vice President of Enrollment Management and Temple's boss, nominated her and had this to say, "I am thrilled that Ms. Temple was selected for this honor. From the day she joined Wiregrass, she has been an advocate for veterans and their families. She does so much more than assist them with their education goals. She helps them with their life goals."
Temple was selected for this honor due to her passion for caring for the whole student. Under her leadership, the College implemented a green zone (safety zone) and a veteran lounge with computer access on the Valdosta Campus at Wiregrass. The lounge area allows veteran/military students to Skype and use other communication tools to maintain contact with deployed family members. She regularly provides full meals for students in the lounge using her own funds. She began the College's Student Veterans Association program, serves as an Advisor for veteran students participating in SkillsUSA, and co-coordinated job fairs for veterans with the Department of Labor. Tabora also served on community veteran organization boards, participates in the Red Carpet Program with Moody Air Force Base, and coordinated summer camps for children of active-duty parents in summer months. She has organized Mobile Vet Centers to visit campus regularly to provide both student veterans and the community access to their services, facilitated an agreement with the Tallahassee Vet Center to have counselor dedicated to serving students via virtual and in person sessions, and brings in other Veteran related services for lunch and learn events. More than that, she cares wholeheartedly for every single veteran she meets.
"GI Jobs is an informative magazine that tells stories of real-life Veterans and how they have overcome various setbacks post-service, to be honored by them and featured in the magazine is like a dream come true," shared Tabora. "My passion for helping others comes from personal experience after retiring from the Air Force. I felt as if no one understood me or wanted to hire me for unknown reasons. Prior to leaving the military, I graduated with two master's degrees and completed any and all certifications available. Luckily, after almost 6 months I was able to find a Veteran service in my community to guide me in the right direction. As Veterans and their families visit our campuses, I assure them that I have walked in their shoes, and I strive to make the transition as smooth as possible."
To learn more about the Military and Veterans program and assistance available at Wiregrass, visit Wiregrass.edu. The college will begin accepting new students soon for Fall Express. Classes will begin on September 27.