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SVA Voices

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SVA Voices • Kierston Whaley:

KW

 

Student Veterans of America prides itself on celebrating the diversity of the many student veterans that make up our chapters across the country. In celebration of Women’s History Month, we celebrate their stories of success. Kierston Whaley is an Active Duty Army Veteran, having served in Afghanistan, who is currently working towards her Master’s in Accounting at Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University.

Kierston says the biggest challenge of being a student veteran is the age difference between veterans and their peers. While Kierston admits to feeling intimidated by the younger students upon entering college, she quickly realized her life experiences turned her into an unofficial guide in the classroom. “Professors look to me for the answers that other students wouldn't otherwise know how to answer. I'm not talking about the answers to the subject matter, those too, but questions about life in general. The students do as well. They typically think I know the answers and are fairly shocked when I'm just as lost as they are. But we work through it together.”

SVA Voices

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Subscribe to the SVA Brief to receive these monthly updates.

SVA Voices • Omar Andrews:

 

Omar

 

 

Student Veterans of America prides itself on celebrating the diversity of the many student veterans that make up our chapters across the country. In celebration of Black History Month, and in recognition of the countless contributions of black student veterans past and present, we celebrate their stories of success. Omar Andrews is an Active Duty Marine currently working towards his Bachelor’s in Political Science at the University of Southern Maine.

 

Omar says, “the best part about being a student veteran is the amount of opportunities available. For those willing to look there are numerous resources that can be used to not only attain degrees but also have incredible experiences.” Omar credits The Husky Veterans and the Veteran Services Offices for being, “a rock in my transition to civilian life,” he continues, “coming from the Marine Corps infantry, command structure was important. The Veterans Services Coordinator, the Chapter President, and other student veterans filled roles that helped me navigate life after the military.”

SVA Voices

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SVA Voices • James Gilchrest:  

 

As a part of our mission supporting student veterans in their transition into higher education and civilian life, Student Veterans of America (SVA) shares their success stories through SVA Voices. Through storytelling, we are able to highlight student veteran success, and inspire the next generation of student veterans.

 

SVA’s mission is to support student veterans as they move to and through college, and then beyond college to graduate school or the workforce.  James Cameron Gilchrest is a student veteran, who served with the Alaska National Guard and recently transferred to the Air National Guard.  He exemplifies the successful transition so many student veterans are making.

James Gilchrest       

 

James graduated in the spring of 2017 from the University of Alaska - Fairbanks with a Bachelors of Emergency Management,Leadership Distinction and a minor in General Business. In addition to being the first in his family to graduate from college, he received many honors during his college years including 2016-17 Outstanding Student of the year for his program, nominated for commencement speaker, and selected as the Trio Day speaker. He also worked as a resident assistant, student ambassador, orientation assistant, and orientation leader. In addition to all this, James was a very active leader in his SVA chapter.

SVA Voices

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SVA Voices • Hakeem Thomas:  

As a part of our mission supporting student veterans in their transition into higher education and civilian life, Student Veterans of America (SVA) shares their success stories through SVA Voices. Through storytelling, we are able to highlight student veteran success, and inspire the next generation of student veterans.
hakeem thomas

Hakeem Thomas, a native of Philadelphia, served in the Army National Guard and graduated in May 2017 from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania (BU) with a B.A. in Criminal Justice and a B.S. in Digital Forensics.

It was while he was deployed overseas with the Army in 2012, that Hakeem developed an interest in studying the behaviors of cyber criminals. With a background in computer science, he started to think about studying digital forensics when he returned home. And that's exactly what he did.

SVA Voices

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SVA Voices • Samantha Fergus:  
Student Veterans of America prides itself on celebrating the diversity of the many student veterans that make up our chapters across the country. This June, in celebration of LGBT Pride, we not only celebrate the culture and history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans, we also recognize their countless contributions as student veterans and highlight their stories of success.

samantha fergus
Samantha Fergus is a Navy veteran, currently in the reserves. She works in human resources, while earning a degree in Business Administration and Sociology at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, Oregon. At school she is the Vice President of her SVA chapter. In addition to all of this she is developing plans to start her own business.

  

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