November 17, 2016
After eight years in the Marine Corps, including a seven-month tour of duty of Afghanistan, Travis Bush already had faced plenty of obstacles. Enrolling in college didn’t need to be another.
Frustrated with the road blocks he encountered along the way, Bush, who reached the rank of sergeant, nearly gave up on college. If it weren’t for the persistent encouragement of his father and the help of the Blinn College-Sealy Campus staff, he may never have furthered his education.
“Campus Director Lisa Caton and History Instructor John Castree immediately started working on my paperwork,” Bush said. “I came to campus once, and the next time all I had to do was sign some papers and I was a student here.”
As an academic advisor in Sealy, Castree helped Bush complete his U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs forms and re-write his mission statement on why he was going to school to help speed up his paperwork.
“Ms. Caton and myself communicated with Blinn Veterans Affairs personnel to ensure Travis could start school immediately,” Castree said. “We work with all of our students that need help with financial aid and veteran services paperwork.”
Bush is now in the middle of his sophomore year. He recently was selected as Blinn College’s Academic Transfer Student of the Month for November.
“Getting Travis enrolled in school was just one obstacle after another, but he persevered,” Caton said. “He is just a really mature student and actively participates in all of his classes.”
Bush prefers Blinn-Sealy’s small class size and personal attention. He balances a full-time class schedule with a full-time job working on a ranch in Cat Springs.
“My boss is pretty flexible and will work with me if there is a busy week at school,” Bush said.
Growing up in nearby San Felipe, the importance of education was always stressed by his family. He initially was hesitant to enroll in school as a 28-year-old, but it has helped give Bush the structure he lacked after leaving the military. Bush’s family is very proud of his success in the military and in school so far.
“I had two classes from Mr. Castree my first semester and he helped me a lot with the structure of school in my first year coming out of the military,” Bush said.
The transition from military to civilian life is still an adjustment for Bush, but he feels that he is on the right path to landing a successful career. He plans to study mechanical engineering at Texas A&M University, the University of Texas at Austin, or Temple University. The desire to study mechanical engineering comes from the realization that he would rather design equipment than just work on it.
“I have already received two job offers from the oil field,” Bush said. “Once I have my degree, I will be able to get hired right away.”
Blinn-Sealy offers a variety of academic transfer, workforce training and continuing education classes to fit the need of any student. For information on course offerings and student registration, visit www.blinn.edu/sealy or call 979-627-7997.