ACP periodically recognizes veterans who have gone above and beyond the requirements of the Mentoring Program to make the most of their mentorships.
Mentors nominate their Protégés for this recognition by submitting a brief description detailing their Protégé's efforts and dedication to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mentors can nominate their Protégés at any point throughout their mentorship and are encouraged to submit nominations as often as they wish. Selected nominations are then featured on our website and social media to celebrate the successes of these motivated veteran Protégés.
Candance Jones is a U.S. Army Veteran with 21 years of active service. She served as a Senior Human Resource Sergeant and has completed deployments in Afghanistan, Iraq, Baghdad, and the US. She is a proven leader with experience in managing multiple projects along with being a skilled communicator and technical professional. In her Military career, she has been able to bring out the excellence in individuals along with being able to cultivate teamwork, innovation, and creativity.
Candance and I have been working together for nearly a year and she maintains a very professional and optimistic outlook when it comes to transitioning into the world outside of the Military. She remains optimistic and is always willing to look at opportunities that will allow her to utilize the skills she has mastered throughout her career.
Candance has no fear when it comes to taking on new challenges. She is willing to bring in her expertise and is looking forward to strengthening any environment. She is a true leader and upholds exactly what the Military has built in her and proves this throughout her life each and every day.
Mentor: Suzanne Webster Evans Page, Maybrook, New York, Deutsche Bank
Jose Rena was preparing to retire from the Marine Corps with over 27 years of service when we were paired through the ACP Mentorship Program in December 2021. Knowing that he had the daunting and stressful task of transitioning on his horizon in less than a year, Jose enthusiastically embraced the mentorship and humbly accepted all advice and guidance that was given. Jose knew what his goals were upon retirement, created a plan, and took the necessary steps to reduce the “stress footprint” that comes with military transition. As transitioning requirements changed and challenges arose throughout the year, Jose analyzed each obstacle and made the best decision for himself and his family.
As we worked through those tough obstacles, Jose never wavered from his duties as a Leader of Marines. Jose continued to engage in his role as an Aviation Maintenance Chief and worked to balance his job and transitioning requirements until his last day on active duty. There were a few monthly meetings that Jose had to postpone by a few hours so he could juggle pressing professional and personal matters. I succinctly remember Jose answering a call moments after completing the Combat Fitness Test (CFT). This showed his pledge and prioritization skills to being a leader while ensuring that he takes the time to take care of himself and his family. Jose was always prepared and laser-focused to complete the mentorship with maximum effort.
Throughout the mentorship, Jose and I were able to connect on a personal level with his transition, especially since we had similar military backgrounds. This enabled us to have open and honest dialogues about creating an effective SMART plan, engaging in networking, applying to jobs, navigating his Skill Bridge challenges, and a host of other difficult tasks. Jose identified what advice and guidance worked best for his plan, put them into action, and provided valuable feedback. At the end of his mentorship, Jose volunteered to pay it forward to become an ACP mentee. This shows that he truly values the ACP program and the benefits it provides to transitioning service members. It’s been my absolute pleasure working with Jose and I look forward to hearing about his future successes.
Mentor: Narvelle James, Granbury, Texas, Lockheed Martin
Jeremiah Jacobs and I started the program together as he was transitioning out of the US Navy. He was just finishing 11 years of service where he worked in areas of information technology systems, lead positions, and an interesting detail supporting the Office of the President, Vice President, First Lady, and US Secret Service. When we met, Jeremiah was well into making a strong recovery from a serious spinal injury and he had his eyes on future success! At this time, Jeremiah intended to quickly find a job where he could apply his military experience while also creating a career plan that included a college degree and a desirable location to call home.
Since leaving the military in early 2022, Jeremiah has landed a position with a notable international management and information technology consulting firm and he is currently selecting a college to attend for the upcoming year. I have been very impressed by Jeremiah’s will and determination. He has a strong drive to see his goals through to completion by way of resourceful networking and taking full advantage of opportunities. Jeremiah and I have spent many hours discussing professional and personal development along with our own particular life experiences and interests.
Personally, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be involved in this program and have found encouragement to seek a higher degree myself in the process. I believe Jeremiah and I have built a strong relationship that will extend beyond the ACP program and I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for Jeremiah!
Mentor: Ian Heatherly, Clinton, Mississippi, Entergy
Jeff Jager had just retired from the US Army after 22 years of service when I started mentoring him last spring. Jeff had two goals; the first was to complete his PhD and the second was to open his own personal training business. Jeff was motivated and had plenty of experience, having just completed several certifications needed to become a personal trainer. We had regularly scheduled meetings focusing on developing a business plan and new methods of marketing his personal training business.
As we worked through defining client needs, we established a great rapport. He would come to meetings well prepared with engaging questions, and together we were able to create a cohesive business plan. Jeff brought his own energy and motivation to the monthly meetings that helped us to determine what he truly needed to succeed. This hard work paid off and after a few short months, Jeff’s business is already generating revenue. Jeff and his business success are testament to how the ACP mentorship program can bring success.
Mentor: Eric Fletcher, Seminole, Florida, Schneider Electric
I have had the pleasure of serving as a mentor for Nick for the last few months as he transitioned from a 20+ year career in the US Navy. I would like to highlight Nick as “what right looks like” for a transitioning veteran. His very structured and systematic approach to his military to civilian career transition was textbook. He has basically done everything right in his prep for transition, selection of the civilian career path he wanted to follow and his early on-boarding with his new employer. My role as mentor has actually been more of a support role around navigating the early months in the civilian employment world. I feel more like a cheerleader than a mentor. Nick should be recognized for a job well-done.
Mentor: Daniel Arkins, Boston, Massachusetts, Mass General
From the beginning of the program, Brian has shown his drive to make a good life for his family and himself. He is very humble and yet willing to put himself out there to get further ahead. Brian and I work on how to approach people and situations that he has not encountered in his military career. He has a great business and personnel awareness. Furthermore, he will bring me a situation and what his hurdles are to connect with the team and manage his expectations. Once we discuss potential options on how to overcome the situation, he is very willing to try those options. In each case, and there have been several, he has managed his way through the situation with success. On one or two occasions, it has taken him more than one run at it, but the important part is he kept going. And…he was successful in the end!
I feel that Brian should be used as an example of how the program can be successful because he is driving the process. I am here to assist and coach. He comes to me with the issues and draws on my experiences and background to better his. The process is simple: I am a tool for him to get where he wants and needs to be in his career. The mentor is not in the situation and unless the candidate is open and truthful with the mentor, and themselves, it is challenging to assist and coach. I would share with others the following, do not be afraid to ask for help and direction because the people supporting this program are here for just that.
Mentor: James Dehoff, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, Select Medical
It has been my pleasure to be Alex McDaniel’s mentor. When we first met I was so impressed by his knowledge and focus. He already knew he wanted a career in the healthcare/pharmaceutical industry owing to his experience as a medic and that he was interested in project management. Alex’s first request was to learn about the practical day-to-day application of project management in the industry. We started by narrowing down what business and what area of project management would be of most interest by having him conduct informational interviews with people currently working in various roles in project management. He already had a well-written resume, but we tailored it to better highlight the aspects of his military career which translated to the jobs he was most interested in.
At the same time we conducted mock interviews to work on refining his interview skills and just getting him comfortable with the process. Alex’s preparation for all of our conversations and openness to feedback made it easy for me to support Alex in his goals. Through his informational interviews…even before applying for any jobs…he had three different companies offering him a Skill Bridge opportunity, putting him in the enviable position of deciding the one which was best for him. I am confident Alex will be offered a full-time permanent position at the end of his assignment. I look forward to hearing about his successes in his new career!
Mentor: Toni Falbo, Titusville, New Jersey, Johnson & Johnson