Axton Vorpahl

University of Texas at Austin | Civil Engineering

Navy | Builder

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About Axton:

Originally from Spokane, Washington, I grew up snowboarding, skateboarding, and giving little thought to my education. After high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do, and after a couple of failed attempts at college, I decided it was time to enlist in the military. I joined the Navy as a Builder when I was 21 and was stationed in Ventura, California, with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 4. In my five-year enlistment, I deployed once to Afghanistan and twice to the Philippines.

The Navy helped me discover who I was and what I was capable of. And with my first enlistment coming to an end, I was ready to be a civilian again. Following the advice of my girlfriend (now wife), I immediately enrolled in community college at San Diego Mesa College. Right away, I realized that my hard work ethic, along with my desire to never sleep in the dirt again, largely contributed to new study habits. Starting with intermediate algebra, I worked harder than ever to learn the basics of math. Before the Navy, I failed pre-algebra three times. Now I study civil engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, one of the top engineering schools in the country.

When I am not studying, I lift weights, kayak, and work part-time at the Student Veteran Services (SVS) at UT. At the SVS, I help both veterans and their dependents navigate the application process, use their VA benefits, and answer any other questions regarding their education.

I thank you for your service and applaud your decision to go back to school. I know that applying to schools can be intimidating, so please, do not hesitate to reach out. We have been there, and now we are here to help.


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