Former WWE Developmental Talent Michael Thompson is a 2014 recipient of WWE’s Talent Scholarship.
Michael Thompson was born and raised in Granite Bay, Calif., and is the youngest of three children to parents Ron and Vicki Thompson. He was a successful varsity athlete and became an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America before graduating from Granite Bay High School in 2002. He attended the University of California, Davis, on a track and field scholarship before transferring to Arizona State University, the alma mater of one of his heroes, Pat Tillman, the former NFL player who was killed in combat while serving in the U.S. Army. At ASU, Thompson played on the varsity football team while studying Political Science and International Relations. He graduated from Arizona State in 2006, and went on to join the WWE Developmental System in Tampa, Fla. While he enjoyed his time as a young WWE talent, Thompson felt a calling to serve his country. With a strong patriotic spirit, he decided to follow in his grandfathers’ footsteps and enlist in the U.S. Navy.
Thompson relishes his decision to forgo a commission due to the experience he shared with fellow members of Riverine Squadron One, a river warfare combat unit. After a deployment to Iraq and sustaining serious injuries during small boat operations, he was eventually honorably discharged. Ironically, however, it was during his medical review board process that he realized his true passion — to serve disabled veterans transitioning back into civilian life.
Thompson is presently finishing his Master of Public Administration at Old Dominion University where he is the Graduate Assistant for Veterans and Distance Learners with Disabilities in the Office of Educational Accessibility. He will continue at ODU to complete his Master of Business Administration degree beginning in January 2015. Thompson plans to use his degrees to follow his dream of supporting veterans with disabilities, starting with the establishment and servitude of his brainchild, Student Veteran House Inc.
Student Veteran House will provide accessible living environments on college campuses that enable veterans with disabilities to excel as they pursue higher education. It will be the pre-eminent model for how to successfully provide universal design housing facilities to veterans with disabilities attending our nation’s universities. Student Veteran House aims to house, educate and successfully integrate veterans with disabilities back into academia. Visit studentveteranhouse.org to find out more.
When he isn’t working on SVH or serving his community through volunteering at farmer’s markets and mentoring young athletes, Thompson can be found on his paddleboard or beach cruiser in Virginia Beach, Va., where he lives with his fiancée.