Mesa College student veteran and prospective Health Information Technology graduate shares her experiences in higher education and giving back to the veteran community.
November 10, 2016
After nine years in the U.S. Army, Karina Miranda returned to her hometown to attend San Diego Mesa College, which she said she chose in part because of aesthetic beauty as well as its treatment of veterans.
“There is so much support for the veteran community here – there’s just so much here for veterans to be involved with,” Miranda said. “They offer a lot of opportunities here, there are a lot of programs and it’s very flexible with the courses and hours.”
Nutrition major Miranda will be graduating from Mesa at the end of the fall 2016 semester and hopes to continue her education at San Diego State University after completing the rest of her transfer requirements. Once she graduates with her bachelor’s degree, she said hopes to use her passion for children’s nutrition to help eradicate poor health habits in future generations.
“It’s looking like the parents are going to outlive their children at this point with the way that their health is going,” Miranda said. “I want to not just help children, but specifically help children with autism, and help parents understand the connection between their nutrition and their outcome.”
She joined the military to get “real life experience,” and after spending six years in Hawaii, three years in Kansas and 15 months in Iraq, she said she gained what she was looking for “and then some.”
“We saw a lot of people, they’re driven by one thing or another, but it was interesting as a 19, 20-year old experiencing all these things of what the real world actually is, as opposed to what we think it is,” Miranda said.
Of Iraq, she that her experience in the medevac – medical evacuation unit – there was “fun” because there was always something to do and she was able to help a lot of people.
“The things that we complain about here are not necessarily of any importance once you actually get out there,” she said. “Like going to school – kids hate going to school here, and around the world, children struggle to go to school every day, and they’re scared if they go to school, they’re going to get blown up. We’re very privileged.”
Currently working in the Honors Program office on campus, she “helps guide the students” who come into the office. In her free time, Miranda likes to dive and spend time with her two kids – ages 6 and 2, who she recently started homeschooling.
Wanting to be a mom and be with her kids every day was the main reason why she left the Army.
“I wanted my son to have someone in his life that he could depend on to be there every day of his life,” Miranda said.
Jennifer Nichols Kearns
Director of Communications