Reflections on My Time as a Chapter Leader
Student Veterans of America | May 4, 2017
Written By: Mr. Joey Scott, President Emeritus, Memphis Student Veterans Organization
As I prepare to graduate in a few days, I wanted to share my experience as a student veteran. When I got out of the Army in December 2015, I was possibly the most nervous person in the world. You see, I served for seven years and had become, as one might say, institutionalized. I didn't know where I would go, what I would do and then I said "why not?" and enrolled at the University of Memphis. My name is Joey Scott, and I had the pleasure of serving as the President of UofM SVA throughout the past year. I will soon be graduating, and would be remiss if I didn't take the time to spread the gospel of how UofM is crushing it in the veteran education game.
My first day at the UofM was nerve-wracking, to say the least until I found the Veterans Resource Center. I found a group of people that shared my unique experiences, laughed at the same jokes, and most of all got me.
All too often we find that transitioning service members lack this and that often leads to personal problems. You see, most of us don't miss the hurry up and wait or the sleeping in the mud. It's the camaraderie and esprit de corps that we yearn for and this spirit is what my team and I sought to foster among our veteran population. We did a lot of great work this year: raised over $10,000 in funding; founded a textbook lending library through MomentUM crowdfunding; our status as the incumbent Tug-O-War champs; inaugurated a Veteran Student Orientation; competed as one of the top six chapters at the Student Veterans of America National Conference and, most importantly for us, realized our years-long dream of relocating the VRC to the UC—the center of the Tiger universe.
The university made it look like we were sleeping as they charted an unprecedented path forward in how we view and do veteran education at the institutional level. The Dr. M. David Rudd scholarship was established to aid those who had exhausted their VA benefits. The Veteran Care Center will be at the cutting edge of research and care for those that bear the burden of PTS, TBI, and others that we work tirelessly to cope with and mitigate. Our capstone project of the year, the Tiger Veteran Library, wouldn't have been possible without the MomentUM crowdfunding platform. Through my SVA chapter leadership network, I found that we are leading the way forward among schools nationwide. The results will pay off ten-fold through more tuition revenue and more infusion of the Veteran story into the sacrosanct diversity of perspectives. Stay tuned.
Joey Scott, along with his SVA chapter at the University of Memphis.
The UofM was there every step of the way to empower us to exceed standards in and out of the classroom and for that, I say thank you. Thank you to President and fellow Redleg Rudd, Dean Lawhead, Mrs Stout, Dr Tuberville, Mrs Nelms, and all the faculty, staff, and students at the UofM. This truly is a community driven by doing, and on behalf of all Tiger Veterans, we want to work with you to make it better. We served our country but further our obligation to serve our campus and city because it is who we are. Let's make it happen, together.
As we continue through graduation season, and student veterans across the country continue to graduate, share your expierences through social media using #GIBillGrad.