Disability Services Center

Student Veterans

Why is USM the right choice for you?

"We all start off in life naked without a care in the world. As we progress through life and mature into who we are today, many bumps occur along the way, and there you stand completely lost but clothed. As warriors, we are taught to be strong and to never show weakness, but this is where most misunderstand what being strong actually means. It took failing a class or two after my recent deployment for me to know something had to be done, but I didn't know what exactly. One thing led to another and eventually, I found my way to the Disability Service Center (DSC) where I met some of the most amazing and caring people, who I now call friends. Strong means to seek all of your options and explore each one until you succeed. The DSC assists you in all the right ways without lowering the standard of education. Choosing USM and the DSC is the right fit, not only for me but my fellow veterans who have battle scars embedded from wars past. Be proud of the sacrifice you have endured. Now, watch the magic unfold, as they assist you in achieving your dream." 

Photo of Student Veteran San Pao and his wife Jessica

Retired Army SSG San Pao was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan with the Maine Army National Guard 133rd Combat Engineers and B. Co. 3/172nd Mountain Infantry. San lives with many battle wounds including TBI and PTSD. San is a Purple Heart Recipient, Maine Silver Star, and disabled Maine Veteran.  San Pao is a 2014 alum with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration.  He graduated in 2018 with a Master's degree from the School of Social Work.   Jessica earned both her BSW and MSW degrees at USM.  San and Jessica live in Greater Portland with their 2 children and their dog, Allie.

The Disability Services Center recognizes the unique needs of student veterans.  The DSC works closely with Veterans Services and other campus departments to ensure your access to our campus and classes.  The DSC prioritizes confidentiality and student autonomy.  Students registering with the DSC choose which of their approved accommodations they want to use, who they notify of their registration and what resources they want to use to facilitate their academic goals. This might include vocational rehabilitation, the USM Learning Commons, University Health & Counseling Services, Advising, TRIO, and faculty members among others.  To learn more about the DSC registration, please visit How to Register with the DSC.  

**Initial appointments for Student Veterans are available at the DSC and other campus locations including Veterans Services, Advising, the Honors Center or Learning Commons.  Please contact via email or at (207) 780-4706 to schedule your appointment.