A Return to CCP: Gaining Knowledge to Give Back

Lifelong Philadelphian Don Green first attended Community College of Philadelphia in 1975, after graduating from Northeast Catholic High School, in order to save money and improve his grades before transferring to Holy Family University. Now, he is earning credentials, with the financial assistance of GI Bill benefits, to enhance his volunteering activities and interests, and to give back to student veterans.

“I’m a much better student at 64 than at 19,” he said.

Previously Don earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business/Accounting from Holy Family and took courses toward a master’s degree at Central Michigan University. He worked as a civilian for the Department of Navy for 33 years, supporting Naval Aviation as a logistics manager, and served 24 years in the Navy Reserves as a Supply Corps Officer. 

This year, Don is graduating with a Culinary Arts I proficiency certificate. He has almost completed the second Culinary Arts proficiency certificate and is pursuing degrees in Culinary Arts and Tourism and Hospitality Management. 

“Goals with my enrollment in both the Culinary Arts and the Hospitality and Tourism programs are to use new knowledge and skills in my volunteer work, preparing quality and safe food for all visitors to the United Service Organizations (USO) or in another volunteer capacity down the road. My wife and I currently volunteer together at the USO, located in Terminal E at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL),” he said.

Don also enjoys his role as a mentor, helping students in the College’s Veterans Resource Center, with organization and time management skills, and adapting to life at the College. 

“I enjoy getting them on the right track with using the Canvas student tool and help them take the right courses to qualify for the GI Bill,” he said.

He is learning from his classmates as well.

“Students are really helping me—it’s a two-way street,” said Don.

His love of music also encouraged him to enroll in the Sound Recording and Music Technology program. 

“I never thought I would be back in school in a competitive way, working for a grade. I’m loving every minute of it,” he said.

Don also has advice for anyone who thinks they may not be successful at the College.

“Don’t be afraid of educational opportunities; take advantage of them. It’s never too late to go back. It’s a fabulous experience. It’s great pursuing new knowledge and skills in an excellent learning environment. CCP has served me very well in life,” he said.