A tradition of service | Cabrillo graduate joins 1,195 in commencement ceremony

Max Raasch, a 2018 graduate of Cabrillo College, talks about his ongoing service in the National Guard. Photo by Tarmo Hannula

APTOS — Max Raasch finished his time at Cabrillo in December, and during the college’s commencement ceremony on May 25 received two associate’s degrees, one in economics and one in liberal arts.

He now plans to major in legal studies and politics, and minor in Russian, at UC Santa Cruz in the fall.

That will be just after he goes to the San Diego area with his Army National Guard group to help U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Raasch has just over a year left with that organization.

In joining the military during his junior year in Aptos High School, Raasch followed a family tradition dating back to 1918 when his great-great-grandfather served in the U.S. Army.

His great-grandfathers on both sides of his family served in the 1940s, as did his grandfather in the 1960s and his father in the 1990s.

He signed up with the National Guard after seeing an ad on Craigslist and calling a recruiter.

“I decided that was the way I wanted to go,” he said.

He finished a mission in the Ukraine in September, which was his first time traveling out of the country.

Raasch works in Cabrillo’s Veterans Information Center, where among other things he helps veterans enroll in colleges.

Eventually, Raasch has dreams of law school and possibly a career in politics.

“I’ve always had a sense of duty and country,” he said.

Raasch joined 1,195 graduating students at the ceremony at Carl Connelly Stadium.

The Cabrillo College Class of 2018 is comprised of graduates ranging in age from 18 to 73 years with an average age of 27. Of the total graduates, 63 percent are female, and 45 percent are Latino.

The class boasted 50 students who graduated with a 4.0 grade point average, and 141 students who graduated with high honors.

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