Juan Polanco

Student Spotlight: Juan Polanco

September 22, 2021 Torrance, CA

Juan Polanco grew up in Inglewood, near the El Camino College Fire Academy and a fire station. As a kid, he would always stop what he was doing to watch the firetrucks go by; he knew firefighting would be his future career. After graduating from high school, Juan served for five years in the U.S. Marines and is now a fire and emergency technology major at El Camino College. Juan plans to graduate in the spring and make his firefighting career goal a reality. Assistance from the college's Veterans Center was key.

"When I first came to El Camino, people at the Veterans Center helped with my veteran benefits and the GI Bill, and everyone was really helpful," Juan said. "Now as a student worker there, I am happy to help others."

El Camino College proudly serves more than 260 student veterans. Students also have access to an on-campus Veterans Resource Center that offers support and referrals to resources both on campus and in the community.

"One of the best parts about the Veterans Resource Center is that it offers a place to be around like-minded people," Juan added. "When I first started at El Camino, I would come by an hour before class and socialize; I feel like I quickly became one of the guys. It helps to have a family of friends for good times and the challenges."