Fatima Peyton has a long history and extreme passion for working with active-duty military service members, veterans, and their families. She served active duty in the U.S. Navy for four years, and today is the Military & Veterans Services representative at SDSU’s College of Extended Studies, where she helps military personnel, veterans, and their dependents learn how to use military tuition-assistance to further their education.
“SDSU is recognized nationally as one of the top military-friendly schools,” said Peyton. “We provide exemplary support to active duty, veterans, and military dependents by offering numerous certificate programs which focus on education-to-career occupations. Our goal is to continue to provide the necessary resources to assist veterans with maximizing their VA educational benefits, and our commitment is to give back to those who have served our country.”
Peyton served her country as a Petty Officer 3rd Class Radioman onboard the USS Dixon in Point Loma. Growing up in Columbia, Missouri, she didn’t exactly know what she wanted to do with her life, but she knew she loved the family’s annual road trip to San Diego.
“We’d drive from Columbia to San Diego to visit family, and I always loved sunny California,” said Peyton. “I decided the military would at least give me the opportunity to move to California, use the education benefits to get my bachelor’s degree, and to travel. My father always wanted to be in the military but was unable to, so I also saw it as an opportunity to live out his dream.”
Peyton’s longest deployment was for six months and she traveled the world. “We went to the Middle East, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bali, Guam, Malaysia …. I met a lot of interesting people. I was 20 years old and it was an exciting time in my life. It was my first time away from home and I had not a worry in the world.”
Prior to her position at SDSU’s College of Extended Studies, Peyton worked as a military student advisor at Ashford University in Kearny Mesa where she recruited students to return to school using various VA-approved programs.
Even avocationally, Peyton channels her talents to assist the military – singing the national anthem at special events hosted by Operation College Promise, California Women Veterans, and San Diego’s annual Military Prayer Breakfast.
“I loved my military experience,” she said. “It’s four years, not a huge sacrifice and the benefits are enormous. So I have a heart to serve, and I’m committed to giving back to all military personnel, veterans, and their dependents.”