March 23, 2023

Air Force Veteran Receives Scholarship to Pursue Career in Human Resource Management

When Valencia Houston and her family moved to Montgomery, Alabama for her husband’s job, she left behind a budding and interesting career as an unemployment fraud investigator in Ohio.

“I had the opportunity to be trained in several areas within my department where I learned about the different aspects of unemployment insurance and how it has many different financial impacts on program recipients, tax payers and employers,” said Houston.

“I had innumerable instances where the primary factor in determining whether an applicant was eligible for benefits or not was whether the employer followed their own policy when making a termination decision,” she said. “I became intrigued with the investigative aspects of human resource management as well as the policy implications connected to the various benefits that employees receive via their employment.”

This training and inside look into how different human resources departments operated piqued her interest into one day working in the field. She found one roadblock, however; she never completed her college degree.

“I have repeatedly encountered great opportunities that I have not been able to pursue as a result of not having completed my degree. I have essentially landed in a cyclical pattern where my prior work experience is great but I fail to meet the minimum qualifications for numerous positions that require a bachelor’s degree,” said Houston.

With her family’s move to Alabama and the new goal to enter the field of human resource management, Houston’s next step is to complete her bachelor’s degree. With the Forever a Hero scholarship, this is now a reality. The Forever a Hero scholarship awards one military veteran every year with up to $13,200 in one online degree program at CSU.

“As a mother and wife, I have managed my household finances down to nearly an exact science. I prioritize appropriately and I make sacrifices that allow me to take care of my family; however, if given an opportunity to further my career by earning a degree and not having to incur additional debt, I will be in a far better position to control my financial future and assist my children in establishing a financial base for themselves, as well.”

Houston is excited for the opportunity to pursue her dreams of working in human resource management by earning her bachelor’s degree from CSU. With her military experience and successful career in unemployment fraud investigations, she will undoubtedly succeed in her new endeavors.

“I have a natural affinity toward training. Human resource management also happens to be the one area in most agencies where the primary training function is housed. I know that this field would provide me with the reward of enjoying my tasks while continuously honing my craft through continuing education as laws and best practices change. I can foresee a career in this field for many years that is rewarding and never monotonous.”


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