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SVA Voices • Rebekah Lloyd :
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 is proud to celebrate the diversity of student veterans who contribute to our chapters across the country. In celebration of Women's History Month, and in recognition of the countless contributions of women student veterans past and present, we celebrate their stories of success.
Rebekah Lloyd is an Army Veteran attending Regent University. A proud #GIBillGrad , she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in December 2016, and is currently pursuing both a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Arts in Law. Her experiences with SVA have ignited a passion for veteran advocacy, which she intends to turn into a career.
Rebekah's introduction to SVA was through theVFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship. She experienced challenges as a veteran, and chose to be an active participant in the resolution of those challenges. She joined nine fellow student veterans from around the country in Washington D.C. for the annual VFW National Legislative Conference, where they spent a week educating legislators on the issues facing today's student veterans. In describing her initial experience with SVA, Rebekah said, "I was able to witness firsthand what SVA was doing for veterans on the national level and bring new tools, ideas, and awareness to my campus and in my community."
Rebekah Lloyd representing SVA in Washington, D.C. as part of the 2016 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship.
Rebekah's experience in DC increased her involvement with her SVA Chapter. She understands the role a Chapter has facilitating academic success, asserting, "The camaraderie that occurs among veterans is unmistakable. Becoming affiliated with one's local SVA Chapter will enable veterans to find that glue that will make everything work. Whether that adhesion is to a fellow student veteran, the Chapter advisor, or the mission of the Chapter, having that substance and the feeling of belonging will make all the difference in a successful academic transition."
Rebekah was also selected to participate in the inauguralFocus Forward Fellowship, led by the Military Family Research Institute. This highly selective program is designed to build skills, leadership, and a sense of community among female student veterans and military-connected women. The program increased her awareness of the unmet needs of women veterans, and she credits the program, emphasizing, "This phenomenal program equipped me with the needed courage to launch my own non-profit for women veterans, Her Story." Rebekah urges all women student veterans to apply for the program, adding, "Seeing there are other women veterans who are on the same journey, sharing similar struggles, provided encouragement in knowing that we are not alone."
Rebekah Lloyd, pictured here along with her fellow Focus Forward Fellows.
As she pursues her graduate degrees, Rebekah works in the Regent University's Military Resource Center as a Veteran Certifying Official. She understands the difficulties veterans can face when returning to college, and offers some advice: "The first step is the hardest, and sometimes the second one as well. But we have to start somewhere, and once you get your foot in the door, the experience you bring will thrust you forward."
Unsatisfied with limiting her activities to campus, Rebekah is also campaigning for Ms. Veteran America. Through this campaign, she is increasing awareness of homelessness among women veterans, and raising funds for Final Salute, Inc – a nonprofit which focuses on homeless women veterans and their children. You can follow her progresshere.