LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is doing its part to help those who have served this country as the school has been ranked a top choice nationwide for active military and veterans.

When Franklin La Rosa decided to go back to school, he didn’t know exactly what to do. He was transitioning back to civilian life after spending four years in the U.S. Army.

“Thanks to this office actually I was able to meet Ross Bryant. He was able to mentor me and was able to explain to me about what benefits I was getting here at UNLV,” La Rosa said.

Ross Bryant is the executive director of UNLV’s Military and Veteran Services Center. He first opened up the center in 2012.

“We’ve been blessed to have a peer-to-peer mentoring program from Michigan here, that we have a battle buddy coach for every veteran that comes through here to help them with resources and conditions, especially when any kind of transition challenges might happen outside of the school,” La Rosa said.

As a retired Army officer of 25 years, he knows what veterans go through

“When you get out, your transition can be challenging because you don’t have that same support system, so we try to replicate that on a small scale here, that as you come into school, you then connect with other veterans,” Bryant said.

La Rosa was able to do just that and is now working at UNLV’s Military and Veterans Services hoping to help others.

“I’m actually right now studying computer science and I’m almost done, I would say next year I should be graduating hopefully,” La Rosa added. “I also applied for an internship with the U.S. Department of State, Ross Bryant was my first reference so I hope I can get the internship since you actually need a security clearance for a lot of investigations so Ross helped me with that.”

More than 1,800 schools nationwide were evaluated for the annual ranking in areas like student retention, graduation, job placement, and loan default rates. UNLV, which also ranked as a top 10 Military Friendly School in 2021, was included among the nation’s best in the category of “Tier 1 Research Universities.”

“We’ve been building this for over ten years and sadly we’ve had 9 suicides here of combat vets. Everyone across the country has experienced those kinds of things and everything we’ve built is to help prevent the next tragedy from happening,” Bryant explained. “If that we’ve also helped many people that weren’t to that extreme but people who have had struggles by being able to help them remove obstacles and help them get on their feet and have a sense of community has resulted in being recognized for all of those scores, but it’s really been down at the lowest level to help people transitioning trying to get them the career field they want to get.”

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