FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – A new $1.5 million grant is helping students injured in wars get reacclimated to college life.
Patrick Amie, a student at Colorado State University, is one of those the grant is helping. He says starting college is a daunting task for anyone, but he feels like it might be a bit more difficult for people like him.
“I started off as a Bradley driver,” he told CBS4, describing his experience in the Army. Amie enlisted before college.
Amie was injured during a tour in Iraq when an IED blast caused his convoy to stop short. He fell, causing a traumatic brain injury.
“My comprehension and retention have slowed down tremendously,” he told CBS4.
Amie started community college shortly after returning home but found it too difficult. His struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder and his brain injury were just too much.
“At first it was just a struggle of trying to do it myself,” Amie said.
Amie then transferred to CSU and joined the New Start for Student Veterans program.
“We’re working with a lot of student veterans who have sustained a brain injury, many others who have other types of physical injuries and disabilities,” said Cathy Schelley, the program director.
Schelley said their goal is to help students manage their life in its post-military phase.
“The New Start program really gives the student veterans a mentor, an occupational therapist that they can meet with however many times a month or week they need to,” Amie said.
Thanks in part to the recent donation from a former CSU graduate the program is ensured to be around for years and is sure to help many more students like Amie succeed.
“That’s what really made the difference for me,” Amie said.