TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A United States Marine veteran graduated from the University of South Florida after overcoming the odds, proudly showing his three children age doesn’t matter when it comes to education.
Cliff McAfee served in the Marine Corps for 12 years. He later moved to Florida from Pittsburgh to be closer to his children, and got his associate’s degree at Pasco-Hernando State College.
“His professors encouraged him to continue his education and, based on his passion to help and care for others, recommended he major in interdisciplinary social sciences with concentrations in sociology and anthropology,” a spokesperson for USF said.
McAfee transferred to USF but had a difficult time juggling classwork as a single parent, as well as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury from his time serving.
“Then, he found the support and camaraderie he needed through a group of veterans he met in the USF Office of Veteran Success,” the USF spokesperson said.
McAfee became the vice president of the USF Student Veterans of American chapter. He also conducted research with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Student Accessibility Services, in regards to online classes as well as recording devices.
USF said McAfee aims to reduce the stigma that is often associated with accessibility services and student veterans.
He will pursue a master’s of education in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in college student affairs in the fall.