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SVA On the Road: Teaming Up with George W. Bush to Serve Wounded Warriors
Student Veterans of America | October 28, 2016
Written by: Derek Fronabarger, SVA's Director of Policy

Of the many different projects that Student Veterans of America works on, it's the ones that bring communities and student veterans together that are the most rewarding. Traveling around the country, talking with chapter leaders and student veterans is not only a way to build new relationships but also talk with the people that we as an organization serve.

When working in D.C., you can get stuck on "inside the beltway" issues and you need to get out to remember why SVA works so hard for veterans. Recently, I had the privilege to travel to Crawford, Texas for one of our student veteran service projects. Service projects are local events where student veterans have the chance to give back to communities by cleaning up playgrounds, assisting homeless shelters, and other activates that serve their communities. This particular event qucickly became the highlight of my year. We were asked to assist in a trail cleanup at the Bush Ranch owned by President George W. Bush.

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 SVA's Derek Fronabarger along with President George W. Bush and
SVA's President and CEO, Jared Lyon 

Local chapters responded to the President's request to help clean debris off of the 100 kilometers of bike trails for the the W100. The W100 is a bike race for disabled veterans that not only promotes teamwork but helps wounded warriors to trust themselves and push their bodies to the limit.

To Orlando and Back Again: How SVA Chapter Grants Can Impact Student Veterans 
Student Veterans of America | October 26, 2016  
Written by: Stephanie Stavrenos, a U.S. Army Veteran and SVA Chapter Leader at Saint Xavier University. 

When my chapter developed its business plan last year during the SVA Leadership Institute Series, we had no idea that our hard work was about to be recognized on a national level. We had been crossing our fingers that we would be awarded an SVA Chapter Grant, a $2000 check that would send our members to NatCon 2016. Everyone was so excited when we received word from SVA that we secured the grant, but shocked and amazed to also receive an invitation to participate in the National Business Plan Competition at Natcon! At first I didn't understand; I didn't remember entering any contest and we hadn't designed our plan with any thoughts of being competitive. Instead, we designed it around the passion we have to improve the lives of veterans on our campus, and the enthusiasm we feel in being part of such an awesome organization. Now we had been selected for having one of the top six business plans in the country, and we proudly accepted the invitation.

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Stephanie Stavrenos seen here speaking at a 2015 SVA Leadership Summit. 

How the SVA Leadership Institute Series Helped Me Develop My Leadership Skills
Student Veterans of America | October 17, 2016
Written by: Maureen Elias, Bowie State University, Student Veterans of America Chapter President.


When I first began school at Bowie State University, I had not done much to develop my leadership skills, since my time in the service ten years ago. After years of being a stay at home mom, focused on the needs of my three children, my leadership skills were pretty rusty. However, after attending the SVA Leadership Summit and then the Leadership Institute, my rusty skills have been gently cleansed and well-oiled.

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Maureen Elias seen here presenting her chapter business plan at the SVA Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. 

When I worked on my undergraduate degree at Campbell University, I was rarely on campus. In fact, graduation practice was essentially the first time I set foot on the main campus because I attended a satellite campus. I simply went to school, then rushed home to my young children. My friends joked that I was the campus ghost. However, as I am now working on my master's degree at Bowie State University, I find myself stepping more and more into leadership roles.

SVA on the Road: The American University of Paris
Student Veterans of America | October 17, 2016
Written by: Derek Fronabarger, Student Veterans of America's Director of Policy


Last week I had the privilege to do the first international chapter visit on behalf of Student Veterans of America. I spent the day at The American University of Paris with the SVA chapter president and faculty.

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SVA's Derek Fronabarger along with SVA Chapter President, Josh Franklin
and Kristina Keenan, VFW  Post 605 Commander.

SVA on the Road: University of Central Oklahoma
Student Veterans of America | October 14, 2016
Written by: Eric Gage, Student Veterans of America's Director of Chapter Services


On August 29th and 30th I had the honor of attending UCO Veteran Orientation hosted by Central Veterans, the SVA chapter at the University of Central Oklahoma. The event took place in the UCO Nigh University Center Ballroom. It was an open house style event with many local and national veterans' organizations present, as well as different key offices from around campus. Student Veterans were invited to sign in, enter for door prizes and speak to all the groups and campus services in attendance. Each student veteran who attended the event and talked to every exhibiter in attendance got a special prize. New and returning student veterans came away with valuable contacts and resources, along with prizes.

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While on campus, chapter leaders and I had the honor of attending meetings with different campus, community, and state officials to improve the campus and community for student veterans.


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