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Guardsman supports COVID-19 response at her university

Airman 1st Class Arielle Robles, 103rd Maintenance Group administration specialist, helps set up recovery center beds at Kaiser Hall at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut, April 21, 2020. Robles is an exercise science student at the university and is now helping convert her usual classroom building into surge capacity space for local hospitals in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Steven Tucker)

Airman 1st Class Arielle Robles, 103rd Maintenance Group administration specialist, helps set up recovery center beds at Kaiser Hall at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut, April 21, 2020. Robles is an exercise science student at the university and is now helping convert her usual classroom building into surge capacity space for local hospitals in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Steven Tucker)

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. --

A campus typically busy with students and staff in late April sits mostly dormant as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Central Connecticut State University, like many others, to send students home and move classes online.

One of CCSU’s students, however, has returned wearing a uniform to support the state’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

Airman 1st Class Arielle Robles, 103rd Maintenance Group administration specialist, typically reports to Kaiser Hall for her exercise science classes. Now she is helping turn the gym floor into a COVID-19 recovery center floor.

“It’s crazy to see that where we would normally go for class or to work out is being turned into a field hospital, but it feels good to be helping the community and my school in this way,” said Robles.

While not in a classroom setting this time, the 20-year-old South Windsor native is still learning at Kaiser Hall.

“It’s been an eye-opening experience,” said Robles. “I’m a traditional Guardsman and now I’m getting to see more of what we do to help the state, so it really puts everything in perspective and shows that we’re all here to help.”

This is not the first time Robles’s experiences in the Guard and at CCSU have crossed paths. She used the knowledge from her Training for Sports Performance class to help her fellow Airmen improve their physical fitness.

She has a deep interest in healthcare and wants to combine her career interest with her military experience by working as a Certified Athletic Trainer for military personnel.

For Robles, education always stays fresh on the mind even during this unusual time.

“I get calls from school sometimes, so I’m still trying to balance that schedule as well,” said Robles, who continues to excel in her classes online while actively supporting the state’s COVID-19 response.

Robles takes pride in the opportunity to serve her state in a familiar setting.

“My favorite part is helping out and knowing there’s a bigger picture to this,” said Robles.

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