“Choose Trinity, veterans—that’s where you should get your education,” says U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Alma ‘Cristina’ Ramnanan, and she speaks from experience. After serving two terms in Iraq and one in Kuwait that left her with a traumatic brain injury, Cristina decided a year ago to begin taking classes at TIU-Florida, and despite the obstacles, she remains determined to complete her BA in Organizational Leadership.
“I thought, I don’t know how I’m going to do it!” Cristina had her doubts, since she’s married, has a young daughter, and works full-time as an army reserve administrator. She knew that the GI Bill provides each service member with 36 months of higher education, if they qualify with a certain amount of active duty, and Cristina’s younger sister encouraged her to look at Trinity Florida, “She was already attending there and is now teaching as a TIU-Florida adjunct professor. So I thought, let me check out Trinity Florida—and I fell in love with it! The Bible teaching is mixed with all the subjects…it’s an awesome school.”
“I thought, let me check out Trinity Florida—and I fell in love with it!”
Cristina took one of the classes that her sister, Stephanie, was teaching and enjoyed seeing how everything—including marketing—can be taught from a Christian perspective. “I believe that earning a college education gives you more tools to talk about different subjects with different people,” says Cristina. “God uses that school in a very special way—It’s my goal in life to complete my degree there.”
Going to college while working full-time as a busy wife and mother continues to be a challenge, but this is not the first time Veteran Cristina has demonstrated grit and determination when facing difficult circumstances. “Several times while serving in Iraq, I was faced with rocket attacks, and they hit us with chlorine smoke,” she says “I inhaled it, and I’m still dealing with the aftermath of that stuff. It was very tough.”
Through it all, Cristina is proud to be a soldier in the U.S. Army “As a veteran, I felt grateful to be a part of it.”
“I work with the military with a sense of purpose, and I see that God has given me the tools to help other soldiers.”
Cristina says she sees her army career and her work with the reserves as a calling, “I work with the military with a sense of purpose, and I see that God has given me the tools to help other soldiers.”
Cristina has also written a children’s book, The Sergeant Family, to comfort the kids of military service people and help them realize that “you are not alone when your mommy and daddy have to go away to a foreign land.”
We salute you, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Alma Cristina Ramnanan, as a true patriot. At Trinity Florida, we’re proud to welcome veterans as students. We’re so thankful for their service to our country, and we celebrate them on this Veterans’ Day!