Silver Lake College students Jason Ebert and Laura Rozeboom met while they were in the military. After becoming engaged, they decided to take advantage of their military education benefits to pursue their college degrees together.
“We were pleasantly surprised that we could use our education benefits at Silver Lake College,” Jason said. “Even though it’s a private college, it accepts veteran tuition benefits the same as any other school. We ended up getting the exact same benefit as we would attending a public college.”
Jason, of Valders, has sentimental ties to the area. He grew up about a half mile from campus and attended the former St. Joseph’s School, located in what is now the college’s Generose Enrichment Center. He fondly recalls serving Sunday Mass at the church.
Jason and Laura managed to fit their college classes into their busy schedules, which include work, the U.S. Army Reserves, and caring for his son and daughter.
Jason is a seasonal employee for the city of Two Rivers Public Works Department and plans to graduate from Silver Lake College within the next two years with a major in Business Management or Human Resources.
Laura, who works part time at St. Mary-St. Michael School in Clarks Mills, is a spring 2016 Silver Lake College graduate. She is a Business Management major with a Psychology minor.
Laura obtained her associate’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc and said she didn’t want to drive out of town to complete her four-year degree.
"I really appreciate the accelerated class opportunities that Silver Lake offers. Raising a family, working part time, being a member of the Army Reserve, and life does not allow a lot of extra time to squeeze in an education. Taking the short-term classes allowed me to knock them out quickly at night and not have to rearrange my whole life," she said.
“Silver Lake College is very welcoming,” Jason said. “I like the size of the school. There are so many people here who know me by name. If they can’t help you, they’ll walk you to the person who can help you. From a veteran’s standpoint, there’s a great support staff and employees knowledgeable in military benefits.”
After graduating from Manitowoc’s Lincoln High School in 1994, Jason was on active duty with the U.S. Army, stationed at Ft. Benning, Georgia and then Korea. He returned to this area, began working in sales for various area companies and was active in the U.S. Army Reserves. He attended classes part time and, like Laura, obtained his associate’s degree from UW-Manitowoc.
“In the late ’90s, I fell off the education wagon. Life took over,” he said.
After taking a break from the service, he rejoined the U.S. Army Reserves and was deployed to Ft. McCoy where he met Laura. They began dating in 2011.
Laura grew up in Minnesota and attended Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Park during high school. She joined the U.S. Army Reserve after high school and was deployed to Iraq after boot camp.
Upon her return, she earned her culinary arts degree from Hennepin. Two years later, she was deployed to Ft. McCoy, where she trained soldiers who were going overseas.
They’re both happy they were able to put the military education benefits they earned to good use.
Learn how you can put your military benefits to use.