Veterans will receive free parking pass through Mike’s Pass Program

Trina Goree, Reporter

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Bakersfield College veterans will soon benefit from “Mike’s Pass,” a new fund that will pay for veteran students parking passes through a Mike’s Pass Program.

The fund was recently approved this semester. There were a series of steps in order to gain approval for the fund. Tina C. Mendoza, veterans educational adviser, worked with the Foundation Department, Public Safety, and other organizations in order to establish the fund.

“Kern Schools Federal Credit Union donated the initial $250 for the creation of the fund,” said Mendoza

Mendoza hopes to begin the program this fall. Veterans will be able to receive a parking pass every semester. To qualify for the program, students need to be a veteran or actively serving. Also, students must be involved in the general and BC community. Priority will be given to all new veteran students. “Passes will go to new veteran students,” stated Mendoza.

Veteran students interested in applying for the program can apply by filling out a form with Mendoza in the Veterans Lounge located next to the cafeteria in the Renegade crossings area previously known as the Free Speech Area.

Application forms will be available beginning in the summer. “Veteran students can begin filling forms June 1,” mentioned Mendoza.

Anyone interested in donating to the Mike’s Pass fund can visit bakersfieldcollege.edu/foundation/. Also, cash drop-off donations can be made to the BC Foundation in the Levinson Building. All donations are tax deductible.

Mendoza encourages all BC staff and faculty to do a payroll deduction to support Mike’s Pass.

Mike’s Pass is part of a movement to make BC more veteran-friendly. To aid in doing that, BC is following in the path of other community colleges, which have already implemented the Mike’s Pass fund.

Mike Mihalakis was a veteran student at Cuesta College who was killed in Iraq. “I learned of this story from Porterville College and started to do research on how BC can create our own Mike’s Pass,” Mendoza said.

Mihalakis was the cousin to BC Veteran Club President Miles Post, who said that it is nice to be related to someone who has left such a huge impact and legacy that many community colleges are beginning to adopt and make their own.

Mendoza and Post along with BC Veterans Club will have events later in the semester to promote and raise awareness about the newly created fund that will help ease the veteran student experience at BC.

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