Over a Decade of Serving Student Veterans at Bunker Hill Community College
November 10, 2020

​Over the past decade, the Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) Veterans Center has worked to ensure a smooth transition to college for student-veterans, active duty military, Guard/Reservists, and their eligible dependents.  

The number of student veterans at BHCC grew from 45 to 340 in just one semester in fall 2009. With the help of a $50,000 foundation grant and support from former BHCC President Emerita Mary L. Fifield, the Veterans Center opened its own physical space in 2010.  

The Veterans Center staff provides specialized services for student-veterans and works as an advocate within the college community, providing resources and assistance with community partners. The Veterans Center is proud to work with many partners, including Home Base, the Warrior-Scholar Project, the Veterans Integration to Academic Leadership Program, Research Education for Undergraduates, and the Center for Veteran Transition and Integration at Columbia University. 

Nearly 5,000 student veterans have passed through the Veterans Center, with more than half transferring to four-year institutions. 

“There are so many inspirational and heartfelt stories,” said BHCC President Pam Eddinger. “We are so grateful they continue their educational journey with us”.

A Few BHCC Student-Veteran Stars

Misael Carrasquillo. Seven years ago, Carrasquillo was among the 450 veterans who landed at BHCC after four years of service in the United States Marine Corps. He earned a business degree while working at the Veterans Center as a work-study student. Graduating with high honors, a departmental academic award, and recipient of the Presidential Leadership Award, he went on to finish his bachelor’s degree in management and then a double master’s in business administration and finance. Carrasquillo now leads the BHCC Veterans Center and continues to improve services to make it more convenient for veterans to seek assistance from any remote location.  

Madeline Dahl. Dahl is a U.S. Air Force Veteran serving as an intelligence analyst and enrolled in BHCC to study biology. She participated in the Posse Veterans Program, which is part of The Posse Foundation for veterans of U.S. Armed Forces. After graduation, Dahl went on to medical school. 

Alex Lyles. When transitioning out of the Navy, Lyles began working in security. Recognizing that an education would help break the barriers he had to further his career, he enrolled at BHCC. With the opportunity at BHCC's Learn and Earn Internship Program, Lyles interned at Fidelity Investments. After graduating from BHCC, he was offered a full-time job as a compliance analyst. Lyles is now close to finishing up his bachelor's degree at University of Massachusetts Boston.

Raul Fernandez. A veteran from the Marine Corps, Fernandez completed his business degree at BHCC. Thanks to the Edge4Vets program and excellent networking skills, he landed a full-time job in the human resource department at Cambridge Bank. Fernandez is now working on completing his dual master’s in business administration and finance.

To learn more, visit the Bunker Hill Community College Veterans Center at  bhcc.edu/veterans.

About Bunker Hill Community College

BHCC is an urban public two-year community college located in Boston. The largest community college in Massachusetts, enrolling approximately 17,000 students annually. BHCC has two campuses in Charlestown and Chelsea and many other locations throughout the Greater Boston area. BHCC is one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. Sixty-five percent of the students are people of color, and more than half of BHCC's students are women. The college also has nearly 400 veteran-students as well as 600 international students from 94 countries and speak more than 75 languages.