Donita Session
To people who have served their country, Veterans Day is a special day. But for Air Force veteran and Hostos student, Donita Session, every day should be Veterans Day.

Session not only served her country admirably as both an Air Traffic Control Watch Supervisor, as well as the Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of Air Traffic Control Training and Standardization and Evaluation, she has committed herself to serving those who have made that same important pledge.

While she already holds an A.A.S. in Airway Science from the Community College from the Air Force, Session is a full-time student at Hostos, majoring in Public Policy and Administration. She is part of the Veterans Club at Hostos and also works as a case manager for chronically homeless female veterans and their families and assists them with moving into permanent supportive housing.

“I served in the U.S. Air Force for eight and a half years. During that time, I would come home on leave at least four times a year. I would see homeless veterans asking for change, sometimes sleeping on the train,” Session said. “I could not understand how it was possible for someone to serve their country and end up homeless. I witnessed this several times throughout the years and that is what formed my desire for public service. I did not know where to begin but I knew I wanted to help.”

Along with her college coursework, Session has been involved in several key professional development programs that have guided her and put her on the fast track to success.

This past summer, Session participated in the Warrior-Scholar Project at the University of Chicago. The week-long course prepares students to enter the top schools in the nation and abroad.

“In Chicago, I learned how to develop my writing technique and read college material in a more analytical way. This will help me all throughout my academic and professional career,” Session said.

This year, she was also inducted into the Veterans4Diplomancy Fellowship as one of the Inaugural Fellows for 2015. That program allowed Session to network with representatives and elected officials, who singled Sessions out for “devoting her professional career to serving veterans and assisting them with transitioning from military to civilian life.”

Most recently, Session traveled to Washington, D.C., thanks to an Easter Seals program, to advocate for programs that assist female veterans with transitioning from military to civilian life.

“Testifying in the nation's capital further solidified my purpose for advocating on behalf of my fellow veterans. I feel that visibility is the strongest way that veteran services will gain support,” Session said. “As far as what Veterans Day means to me, it is really the biggest platform of visibility and serves as an important reminder of the sacrifices made by all veterans.”

As for Hostos helping to put her on the path to her dream career, Session said she is grateful.

“Hostos was the first college that I enrolled in after separating from the military. I was able to get the guidance and support from my professors that helped set me on my career path,” Session said. “I felt supported as a new student and respected as a veteran.”

About Hostos Community College
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. It serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs. The College’s unique Student Success Coaching Unit provides students with individualized guidance and exemplifies its emphasis on student support services.

Named one of the top 10 finalists for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, Hostos offers 27 associate degree programs and two certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to The City University of New York’s (CUNY) four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, which serves more than 500,000 students at 24 colleges.