I devoted 40 years as a faculty member and administrator on college campuses so I have an understanding of and appreciation for organizations designed to assist students. In my experience, few of those have done so with the dedication and sense of purpose thatStudent Veterans of America do every day. Serving our Veterans has to be more than a feel good bumper sticker...and SVA has found an unique way to serve veterans. I have researched and written on the transition combat veterans who become college students make. That work lead me to SVA because the commitment of the organization is to support veterans as they pursue their academic goals.
As an Army veteran of 10 years and someone who has worked with hundreds of organizations supporting our military and veteran community, I have not found a more effective and dedicated non-profit in the country. The Student Veterans of America have grown enormously in a short time because of their unwaivering focus and vitally important mission to support veterans as they pursue higher education. They are constantly working and innovating to improve on their programs and make sure they're meeting veterans' needs at the time when they most need it - as they re-integrate into civilian life and start the process of leading productive, fulfilled lives after their service. They are also one of the few organizations that have truly demonstrated superior ability to work with all partners in and outside the veterans space, from the private sector, non-profits, foundations, and state and federal government.
SVA has completely changed my life and enabled my success. I went to the first DC conference just weeks after coming home from Iraq, and all of my concerns about not having a new community at school evaporated. The peer support, the programs, the ability to conduct advocacy, and all of the great people makes this organization truly outstanding. Going from just a student veteran to a chapter president and now having the privilege to serve as a Board Member has been a remarkable and truly enlightening experience.
The peer support system provided by the early cadrons of SVA members allowed me and countless veterans pave a path to a successful transition. They were the rock upon which we built our academic and professional success. We are now leaders of industry, government, and of our communities. Let me introduce Student Veterans of America, a coalition of student veteran groups on college campuses around the country. Our vision is for all veterans to succeed in higher education, achieve their academic goals, and gain meaningful employment. Our mission is to provide military veterans with the resources, support, and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and following graduation. We offer a peer to peer support system across our 500+ chapter affiliates, scholarships, grants, internship support payments, employment opportunities, leadership training, advocacy, and much much more. Given the passage of the Post 9/11 GI Bill (which SVA has been credited in helping to pass by its authors – Senator Webb and Hagel), this generation of veterans will become the next greatest generation. We are yesterday's warriors - today's scholars - tomorrow's leaders.