Gabriel Snashall — Navy Submariner to Wesleyan!

This is one part in a series of veteran profiles spotlighting Service to School (S2S) and our VetLink program, which connects veterans with highly selective colleges and universities.

Gabriel Snashall, Wesleyan ‘22

Branch of Service: United States Navy

What did you do in the military? I was a cryptographic communications supervisor for two overseas deployments aboard the USS Pittsburgh — a Fast-Attack Nuclear Submarine. My first deployment was in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (2012), and my second in the EUCOM (Europe/Med) area of responsibility in support of missions vital to national security (2015).

What led you to S2S? In the summer of 2016, a veteran transition program called the Warrior-Scholar Project accepted my application to study at Harvard University. The program was designed to broaden and enhance the educational experiences of military veterans and discuss the ongoing issues that restrict growth in the veteran community. The program, hosted by Harvard Law and History professors, began by analyzing rhetoric, history, and philosophy in the mornings. In the evenings, veteran mentors would address the issues they faced during their transition. Following the end of WSP, I realized that I needed an expert in veteran’s admissions who could efficiently translate my post-military perspective to the broader civilian context, and to help translate my experience in a way so it could be understood by admissions officers. Before S2S, I tried online admissions assistance programs and used community college tutors to help me progress, but I found that my story was either misdirected or underrepresented at every point. My mentor from WSP recommended Service to School. I was given a mentor that I could finally relate to, and I was captivated upon planning my future with them. With the help of my S2S mentor, my story was told more efficiently, in terms that were more relatable, and in a way that could build my chances for success at the school of my dreams. I found that the interpersonal connection and straightforwardness my counselor and I upheld were paramount aspects of our success.

How did S2S help you accomplish your goals and heal/grow as a person? The S2S experience reintroduced education in a way like never before — with all the talks and discussions I had with my military advisor, we focused on the areas I truly needed to focus on improving. Also, the process taught me how to be successful in my education by outlining the necessary skills these schools needed to see in me. It also proved to me that the transition to academia was by no means an ordinary or ‘military-like’ procedure.

Where are you now and what are your plans for the future? Fast-forward to today; I have been awarded a leadership scholarship through the Posse Foundation, and another through the Sentinels of Freedom organization. The former, a “full-ride” to my dream school, and the latter, a comprehensive housing dividend — both of which last for as many years as I need and provide quality mentors, tutors, and competitive internships. They also provide networking with high-level offices, and a close group of veterans on campus that I can rely on in times of trouble. After Wesleyan, I see myself either going to Yale and studying in the JD/Bioethics program — which fits into my BioLaw trajectory — or in the JD program at Stanford (“The Center for Law and the Biosciences”) which has a major focus on not only BioLaw, but the social implications of accelerated technological changes in medicine — which truly fascinate me. Ultimately, I hope one day to advance in the political world while advocating for the educational benefits and social implications of effective legislation that focuses on promoting equality through the use of Bioethical analysis.

Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts college in Middletown, Connecticut. The university was founded in 1831 by Methodist leaders and Middletown citizens. Today it is a diverse, energetic liberal arts community. For more information please visit

Service to School is a 501(3) non-profit committed to helping our nation’s veterans earn admission to highly selective colleges and universities. Our mission is to help every transitioning military veteran win admission to the best college or graduate school possible.

In 2015, Service to School launched VetLink, an initiative within our larger mentoring program, which partners our organization with some of the best colleges and universities in the U.S. including Amherst College, Cornell University, Emory University, Harvard College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Notre Dame, Pomona College, Princeton University, Smith College, Stanford University, Williams College, and Yale University.

Are you a transitioning veteran thinking about applying to college to earn your undergraduate or bachelor’s degree? Sign up for help from Service to School.