Recent Recognition Award Winner Elmer Solis' Award Tribute
In joining the United States Marine Corps, Elmer Solis provided service to his country. As a retired Marine Corps Sergeant and student, Elmer has continued his advocacy, leadership, and service to others. In spite of the challenges he faces due to severe chronic disabilities he acquired during his service in the Marine Corps, Elmer has continued to pursue his educational goals. Phyllis Gilson, Assistant Director of Admissions and Records and Veteran Coordinator says of Elmer that, "while he does not often speak about the causes, he has told me of his fears and his reactions to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in a college setting." Despite these challenges, Elmer continues to maintain a high grade point average and has not lost sight of his aspirations.
He is currently completing an Interdisciplinary Masters of Science degree in Gerontology and Kinesiology. With this degree, he hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Gerontology, which he will utilize as a means of making himself more marketable and better equipped "to collaborate with an already existing non-profit organization and open geriatric health and wellness facilities in Los Angeles County." In speaking of his goals Elmer has said "I understand that with age comes certain disability, but I am a true believer that with preventative care we can avoid most of the disabilities that come with aging."
Elmer is a member and leader in many organizations such as the California State University, Northridge Student Veteran Organization (SVO), and Partners in Care Foundation. He also volunteers for the Department of Veterans Affairs Cardiac Rehabilitation Department. In addition he has been collaborating with "community leaders in Public Health to help create and publish a strength-training booklet, 'Power up in 10', for the Network for a Healthy California" while continuing to focus his attention on Veteran care and connection. Elmer also hopes to raise awareness among students of the services the Disability Resources and Educational Services department has to offer. His participation in these programs, demonstrate his unyielding dedication to community service and individual advocacy. For his continuous service and advocacy for others, we would like to present the Kiawanis Club of Northridge Citizenship Award to Elmer Solis.