John Herrera has joined Berkshire Community College (BCC) as a staff assistant (Veterans Services).
In his part-time role, Herrera is responsible for assisting BCC student veterans to make the transition to higher education so that they may have a positive and successful college experience. In addition, he helps students veterans navigate such processes as registering and filing for financial aid as well as military benefits and services.
A retired veteran, Herrera served in the Coast Guard for 26 years as a Health Service Technician, achieving the rank of senior chief. In addition to the Coast Guard, his initial stint in the military was with the Marine Corps where he worked as an Amphibious Assault Crew chief, attaining the rank of corporal.
After retiring from the service in 2009, Herrera moved to the Berkshires from California and began attending BCC. While taking classes, he served as the college's Veteran Student Liaison Enrollment Fellow. In 2010, he was elected president of the newly created Student Veterans Alliance, which was formed to create unity among student veterans.
In addition to his education at BCC, Herrera has extensive military training in numerous capacities including: EMT School, the Naval School of Dental Prosthetics and Pharmacy Technician School.
He earned a plethora of military awards including: The U.S. Coast Guard Commandants Letter of Commendation Ribbon, four U.S. Coast Guard Achievement Medals, two U.S. Coast Guard Commendation Medals, eight Good Conduct Medals and a Marine Corps Good Conduct Award, among others.
Herrera resides in Pittsfield with his wife, Wendy, and has two grown children.
Herrera's position is funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Community Colleges & Workforce Development Transformation Agenda (MCCWDTA). The "Massachusetts Community College and Workforce Development Transformation Agenda is 100% funded by a $20,000,000 TAACCCT grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration." Grant agreement #TC-22505-11-60-A-25. This same grant also funded the new Veterans Lounge at BCC.