UA now SVA member

Katelyn Freil

The University of Akron has taken becoming veteran-friendly one step further.

UA recently became the newest chapter of Student Veterans of America (SVA), a program that connects veteran college students around the country.

“I believed that it would be beneficial and we are now the local chapter,” said Victoria Barrientos, the president of the Military Veteran’s Association on campus. “This puts us on the SVA’s map of schools that have a student veteran organization.”

This map that Barrientos spoke about shows where each chapter of SVA resides and can help students find colleges that have programs for veterans, which can be a crucial deciding point for those veterans looking for people to connect with when they go to college.

Barrientos said that she began to look into SVA when a veteran contacted the Military Services Center on campus to tell them that UA not having a chapter of SVA had a major effect in her decision not to come here.

“We provide military veterans with resources, support and advocacy needed to succeed in higher education and post-graduation,” the SVA website said.

“I think it’s great our MVA also wants to belong to this national student veterans organization,” Mary Rossett, Associate Director/Military Services, said. “It provides advocacy for veterans on issues that directly impact our student veterans.”

According to the SVA website, the organization welcomed its 500th chapter in 2011. The organization has multiple chapter programs, such as volunteer programs and chapter grants, as well as individual programs, like scholarships and internships.

“Since veterans are basically scholarship students, this guarantees money to the school,” Barrientos said. “This also gives veterans access to several new scholarships and resources, while including them in a nationally recognized organization which could help them find a job.”

This network can be very beneficial to veterans in many ways.

“This helps connect all veterans to provide a network of contacts which can potentially be used to help find a job, assist returning veterans find a school and provide resources to help with everyday problems,” she said.

For more information about the SVA and other chapters, visit studentveterans.org.

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