Franklin Spencer

Director and Co-Founder of Operation Love Thy Neighborhood

   I joined the Army while in my senior year of high school with the hopes of later attending college using the Montgomery GI Bill. While in the Army I made several attempts to complete college courses, however, due to the nature of the job I performed, I had to later withdraw from classes. After I was discharged from the Army, and joined the California Army National Guard, I attended West Los Angeles, and Los Angeles Trade Technical colleges. I attended for about 1 year. Then, I had to stop, again, because of work to keep myself afloat. Eventually, I was given the opportunity to work fulltime for the National Guard. Again, I attempted to complete college classes on the military base, but I had to drop the classes because of work, and family commitments


    In the Army, I learned valuable skills and strong ethics; for example, leadership, responsibility, and values. In the 19-½ years that I served in the Army I had many tasks from recruiting and retention to assignments during disasters such as Katrina. My experiences helping people during this disaster, in New Orleans impacted my life in many ways. One example remains with me. My platoon came upon an abandoned building, after further inspection we found that there were elderly people still living in a building which had caught fire, and was flooded from the sprinklers, and the effects of Katrina. My platoon found homes for everyone in the building, and made sure that the bodies of the individuals that had died were removed from the building. We also made sure that families were notified of their deaths.

  

In 2007, I was diagnosed with Kidney disease, and I knew my career in the Army would soon come to an end. In 2010, I had to go on dialysis, and medically retired from the Army in September 2011. During my first semester, at LASC, I completed an African American History course. The Professor teaching this class changed my life. After the class, I yearned to learn more, so I committed myself 100 percent to my education. This time I saw my dream of going to college come to life, and not dry up, in the sun like a raisin, or stinking like rotten meat. 


   While at LASC I co-founded the first veterans club in the schools history the Spartans, and served as the Executive Vice President of the Associated Students Organization. I transferred to the University of California Los Angeles in 2015 were I was a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, Tau Sigma Honor Society, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated. I graduated Cum Laude in June of 2017 with a double major in African American Studies, and History. I have been very involved in my community over the past 14 years. In 2014 Troy Daniels and I co-founded Operation Love Thy Neighborhood, to increase our outreach to the communities we serve.  


Civilian Awards:

 

Los Angeles Southwest College: Twice on Deans List, Presidential Ambassador, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, UCLA: Three times Deans List, Osher-Berger Re-entry scholarship, Tau Sigma Honor Society, Golden Key Honor Society, Certificate from the City of Los Angeles for dedicated service to the children and community of Los Angeles, Certificate from the City of Los Angeles for assisting in The Directions Program at Belmont High School 

            

COMMUNITY SERVICE AND CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT 

 

Los Angeles Southwest College: Associated Student Organization-Veterans Representative-Executive Vice President, Co-Founder of Spartans Veterans Club and President · UCLA: Student Veterans of America, UCLA Volunteer Day Task Captain Midnight Mission 2016, Director of nonprofit Operation Love Thy Neighborhood Inc.