Meet a Veteran: Arthur
Arthur is an Alabama native who struggled all through grade school due to an undiagnosed learning disability. Because of these academic difficulties, he wasn’t interested in going straight to college. Instead, he joined the United States Marine Corps where he became Lance Corporal, and was honorably discharged four years later.
After his time in the Marines, Arthur was ready to further his education. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the John H. Johnson School of Communications at Howard University, and then set out on a career path that included stints in radio, television, and film.
Arthur overcame his learning disability through adaptive therapies, and eventually came to realize that his true calling was to help others overcome learning disabilities, too. He pledged to commit his life to opening doors to others who were struggling—to empowering them and their families.
Arthur’s new career in education led him to teaching and leadership roles in Alabama, Pennsylvania, California and Delaware. However, due to the instability of the evolving Charter School model in which he worked, Arthur was also forced into several periods of unemployment and economic hardship.
Arthur decided to relocate to Washington, D.C., to pursue broader employment prospects in education. However, he was unemployed and did not have anywhere to stay. While he was sleeping in his truck, his sister in California recommended he look into programs such as U.S.VETS.
Arthur was able to find our Veterans in Progress program at U.S.VETS – Washington D.C. He stayed in the VIP facility for several short stays before settling into the transitional housing facility in January. He connected with the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program shortly after his arrival.
While in the VIP program Arthur split his time between substitute teaching part-time, looking for a long term position, and helping in the career center at U.S.VETS. He spent his free time assisting the staff by helping veterans write cover letters for their job applications.
In February 2016, Arthur was offered a position as the Dean of Culture for a charter school in Louisiana. In a joint effort with U.S.VETS and SSVF organizations in Louisiana, Arthur was able to relocate for this new position.
In the future, Arthur is considering getting his master’s degree in education, a field to which he’s ardently committed. Arthur said, “People from my childhood days wouldn’t believe that I became an educator. I was told I wouldn’t amount to much.”
He has proven them all wrong and turned the stumbling block of homelessness into a stepping stone.
When asked how U.S.VETS – Washington D.C. impacted his life, Arthur responded, “The program stabilized my life in a time where there was turmoil. I had a roof over my head and was being provided meals. This allowed me to concentrate on finding a job. I knew how to look for the jobs I wanted, I just needed to be in a stable environment to be able to do so. There are so many veterans out there who need a stable place while they get back on their feet. They just aren’t aware of this program and the opportunity it can give them.”