U.S. Army Veteran Returns to School, Hopes to Keep Workers Safe on the Job

Jedediah Student Success

“Fear and self-doubt.” That was the response given by GateWay student Jedediah Timmerman when asked what challenges he faced upon returning to college after years away.

Timmerman, a U.S. Army Veteran, began his initial college endeavor at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. As Timmerman put it, “After my freshman year, life had other plans, and I ended up in Phoenix working at a Discount Tire.” 

Through the Veteran Readiness Employment (Chapter 31) program, Timmerman found GateWay and began his journey in Occupational Health and Safety (OSH) in September 2018. “The fear was, ‘Is this the right choice?’,” Jedediah said. “The self-doubt was, ‘Can I really do this?’.” 

“Like any institute you attend, it all seems so big and out of reach when you first arrive,” Timmerman said. “I was lucky to get involved with some campus groups and clubs, and all of a sudden it no longer seemed so big!” 

While working through his fear and self-doubt was the first hurdle to overcome for Timmerman, he realized it wasn’t going to happen without the aid of faculty. “It all started with (OSHT Program Director) Mr. Michael Bryant who encouraged me to get active with the American Society of Safety Professionals and the Safety Club,” Timmerman said. 

“GateWay introduced me to the idea that you are never too old or too young to be involved with your campus,” Timmerman added. “More importantly, I have been able to meet many people who desire to see professionals grow and succeed in this field.”

With just one more semester to go until he completes his OSH coursework, Timmerman is poised for a bright and rewarding future in the oil and gas industry. 

“Safety has always intrigued me,” he said. “I can’t wait to take my field experience and this degree from GateWay back to the industry so I can ensure men and women are going home with all 10 fingers and toes!” 

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