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NMC Graduates Become First CNMI Applicants for Troops to Teachers (May 31, 2012)

Northern Marianas College graduates Roman Benavente and Clarissa Mobel recently became the first two applicants of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Troops to Teachers (TTT) program.

The Troops to Teachers program was established in 1994 by the U.S. Department of Defense to assist eligible military personnel with a bachelor’s degree to enter a career as a teacher in a high needs school. Detailed eligibility requirements are listed on the Troops to Teachers website

The program provides participants up to $5,000 to aid in the costs of becoming certified to teach and offers bonuses of $10,000 to those who teach in schools that serve a high percentage of low-income families, such as the schools in the CNMI.

Benavente and Mobel applied for TTT’s bonus after graduating from NMC with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education in May. Both are currently working as teachers in the CNMI Public School System.

“I’m elated that Roman and Clarissa applied for the Troops to Teachers,” said Geri Willis, National Troops to Teachers CNMI coordinator. “This bonus will definitely help them in the future. I’ve known Roman and Clarissa for many years; they’re excellent role models, tenacious and hard-working.”

Benavente has served in the Army Reserve for 16 years while Mobel has served for 8 years. Both soldiers have served in Iraq.

“Troops to Teachers doesn’t only offer financial assistance to military personnel,” said Willis. “We also help them through the process of becoming a certified teacher, finding employment, and then transitioning into their new career.”

Willis added “For those currently pursuing their bachelor’s degree and interested in being part of the Troops to Teachers, I recommend that they begin considering this program in their junior year to look into all their options.”

For more information about the Troops to Teachers program, contact Geri Willis at 234-5498 ext. 1028 or 287-2004, or email [email protected].

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