Leadville Welcomes New Student Veteran Liaison
CeeJay Maxwell is a 26 year old student from a small town outside of Amarillo, TX. Like many Leadville students, he enjoys spending time with his dog Sadie, climbing mountains, and naptime – usually in that order. CeeJay also has other interests and experiences that may resonate with a more specific campus population; student veterans. He joined the Marine Corps at 18 years old, and served our country for 5 years in Okinawa, Japan. Now, in his first year at Colorado Mountain College, he studies Outdoor Education, Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Sustainability Studies. In addition to being a Barista at La Resistance on Harrison, CeeJay recently accepted the Student Veteran Liaison position on campus. We recently had the opportunity to sit down with CeeJay and learn a bit about him, his service in the Marine Corp, and his Leadville experience.
CMCLeadville (LV): Congratulations on becoming the new Student Veteran Liaison for Colorado Mountain College Leadville! We know how invaluable it is to have someone in this position who can relate to student vets. Can you tell us a bit about your military service?
CeeJay: I joined the Marine corps when I was 18, right after High School in 2008. After a year and a half of training I ended up with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152 (VMGR-152) on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, JP where I would stay until I completed active service in 2013. My job was to inspect the cargo and passengers, load them and balance out the aircraft to ensure we could fly. Basically I was Tom Cruise, but better. After just shy of 5 years in I was finally released from active duty and enjoyed the sweet satisfaction of growing out a beard.
LV: We’re happy to have you at the Timberline Campus, beard and all! What drew you to the mountains and how did you discover Leadville?
CeeJay: I actually discovered Leadville when I was still in the Marines living in Okinawa, JP. A group of friends and I had planned to climb Mt. Elbert and a few other 14ers, and we were going to rent a vacation home in Leadville. I kept seeing all over on all the rental ads the phrase, “and just minutes away from Colorado Mountain College!” and it piqued my curiosity. When I looked into the school I found, what I thought was, the perfect college!
LV: The perfect college for our adventurous students! So many veterans are drawn to Lake County. As a veteran yourself, why do you think so many vets gravitate to Leadville?
CeeJay: I think the Leadville area, with the CMC Timberline Campus, has a lot to offer veterans after they transition. It allows us to do some of the things we enjoy like hiking or camping without the pressure of completing a mission. Just due to the nature of service a lot of service members have a vast amount of experience when it comes to outdoor interests and Leadville is a great place for these things. We have mountains and rivers and canyons in our backyard!
LV: What types of services can student veterans receive on campus? Can you briefly describe your position?
CeeJay: I offer a myriad of services, but the main things I do is provide information to veterans, and anyone else who asks, regarding everything from general school policies to how to submit a claim for benefits with the VA. I’m here to help them as a point of contact when finding the correct person in the system to help them may be difficult. My office is open M/W/F 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM for any veterans needing help or if they just want to hang out between classes. What I am looking forward to most about this position is the chance to have a positive impact and hopefully assist veterans in meeting their educational needs.