Meet US Marine Corps Veteran Richard Arroyo, MSW ‘16

December 20, 2016

Tell us about yourself

I grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn in public housing, and attended public schools. I served in US Marine Corps from 1988 – 1992. I am Puerto Rican, which has shaped my experience. Reflecting on my past, I feel blessed to have been at NYU and am excited about my career. I work as a Community Coordinator at the NYC Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and am a consultant with an agency that works with domestic violence perpetrators.

I am so happy to be the father of an amazing daughter. She is my greatest motivation in life, and I love her more each and every day.

Why did you choose New York University Silver School of Social Work?

When I was searching for a Masters of Social Work (MSW) program, NYU was at the top of my list. During my visit, the friendliness and warmth of the students and staff overwhelmed me, and I immediately knew the Silver School was the right place for me. I then applied, and was accepted to the ’16 MSW Class. I remember being so excited, humbled, and grateful, especially when I was offered the Silver School Tuition Scholarship, which covered more than 40% of my tuition.

What was your experience like as a student?

My experience at Silver was very positive. I take great pride in having attended such a prestigious university. I was challenged and inspired by the material covered in my classes.

Do you believe your military experience made you a better student?

Yes, it did. In the armed forces, I was taught the importance of discipline and completing the mission; those lessons helped me focus on being the best student that I can be.

What advice do you give Veterans returning to school?

My advice to fellow veterans would be to take advantage of all the educational benefits for veterans. Remember the 5th General Order is, “To quit my post only when properly relieved.” You have been relieved of your post, so you can now focus on your education. When you decide to return to school, think about attending NYU - you will join a community that offers the tools and support to help you make your future a reality.

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