It Takes a Village to Support a Veteran
Written by: Sheri Oberhelman
In honor of National Friendship Day, Service to School would like to recognize the incredible relationships between organizations within the military- and veteran-support community. What connects us is our common mission to serve those who serve our country. We recognize that experiences related to military service touch every corner of a service member’s life and that no single organization can even begin to provide the incredible amount of support needed. By working together, however, organizations can step up to meet this seemingly insurmountable challenge.
Service to School
Service to School (S2S) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides free college and grad school application counseling to military veterans and service members. For 10 years, Service to School (S2S) has been the premier nonprofit organization preparing transitioning service members and veterans for admission into the best college or graduate school possible. Understanding the financial, employment, and health benefits of a college degree and knowing that 68% of veterans do not hold a bachelor’s degree, S2S offers a robust portfolio of services to support the student veteran on their journey to and through higher ed.
“Now, more than ever, veterans are using their Forever GI Bill benefits to attend colleges and universities to build their next chapter – life after service. Service to School is honored to work alongside these great sister organizations as we strive to support veterans in their transition from the military.” – Christine Schwartz, Army Veteran, CEO of Service to School
The Pat Tillman Foundation
The Pat Tillman Foundation unites and empowers remarkable military veterans and spouses as the next generation of public and private sector leaders committed to service beyond self. Founded in 2008, the Tillman Scholars program supports our nation’s active duty service members, veterans, and military spouses by investing in education and professional development. The Pat Tillman Foundation provides academic scholarships, a national network, and professional development opportunities, so Tillman Scholars are empowered to make an impact at home and around the world.
“The Pat Tillman Foundation has made it its mission to empower military veterans and military spouses as leaders who make an impact in their communities. We look to the Tillman Scholar community to make a future impact greater than the exceptional service they’ve offered so far, and we’re honored to welcome them and support their leadership development.” – Dan Futrell, 2011 Tillman Scholar, and CEO of the Pat Tillman Foundation.
Veterans Yoga Project
Veterans Yoga Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization on a mission to support recovery and resilience among our military veterans, active duty, first responders, caregivers, and their families and communities.
Working in partnership with veterans, active-duty military personnel, VA medical facilities and vet centers, student veterans’ organizations, and other non-profit organizations, VYP-teachers hold over 100 free yoga classes each week for veterans and their families. By providing support to all veterans, whether they are currently struggling with symptoms of PTS(D), or they are focused on increasing resilience and giving back to others, Veterans Yoga Project is doing its part to serve those who have served.
VYP’s Mindful Resilience for Trauma Recovery Training (MRT), Mindful Resilience 200Hr Yoga Teacher Training (MRYTT-200), Mindful Resilience for Compassion Fatigue (MRCF), Mindful Resilience Online Yoga Studio, and In-person yoga classes consist of five tools: Breathing, Meditation, Mindful Movement, Guided Rest, and Gratitude.
Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Dan Libby, adds, “I am proud that Veterans Yoga Project gets to be part of such a rich tapestry of organizations supporting our veteran and military families. Being part of this larger movement of shared Meaning and Purpose, working alongside our sister organizations, and serving those who have served by spreading VYP’s tools of mindfulness and yoga, helps me to maintain my own resilience in an often-challenging world.”
Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) empowers enlisted veterans and transitioning service members to succeed in higher education and beyond. In partnership with top colleges and universities, WSP hosts intensive, one and two-week college-preparatory academic boot camps for enlisted veterans and transitioning service members in three disciplines: Humanities, STEM, and Business & Entrepreneurship. Through faculty lectures, workshops and research projects, tailored assignments, one-on-one tutoring, and mentorship from successful student veterans, warrior-scholars acquire the skills to succeed in higher education and navigate the cultural shift from military service to college. WSP also offers workshops tailored to address the unique needs of veterans enrolled in community colleges and targeted programming for marginalized veterans, such as the Women Veterans Empowerment Dialogues series. All programming is provided at no cost.
“Warrior-Scholar Project instills confidence in student veterans, many of whom have spent years outside of the classroom serving our country. Our academic boot camps are proven to propel veterans to success in higher education — 90 percent of our alumni have completed or are on track to earn their undergraduate degrees, an increase of 18 percent over the national veteran average,” said Ryan Pavel, CEO of WSP.
RallyPoint plays a predominant role with its mission to help all members of the military community lead more successful and fulfilling lives. It serves as the premiere digital platform for the military community to come together and discuss military topics both socially and professionally. Members include military servicemembers, veterans, family members, caregivers, survivors, and supporters of those in uniform.
RallyPoint connects members and provides tools to succeed along their entire lifetime journey – from recruit through retirement and beyond. Members build peer-to-peer relationships across branches, generations, and conflicts forged by the common bond of service. Within the community, members can build their professional network, ask questions, share photos and stories, connect with members in a secure environment, and explore educational and career opportunities.
As National Friendship Day comes to a close, Service to School wants to express heartfelt appreciation for all of our partner military- and veteran-support organizations nationwide. We’ll continue to build upon these relationships and seek out new collaborations. Find more information about Service to School’s mission at service2school.org and drop us a line if you’d like to join that mission.