8 Badass Student Veteran Moms that You Need to Know About this Mother’s Day
Student Veterans of America | May 12, 2017

This Sunday, we celebrate mothers across the country, and here at SVA, we particularly celebrate those student veteran moms who are juggling college, being a mother and often a part or full-time job! What we know from our research is that 23% of the student veterans who are graduating using the GI Bill are women, compared to the 16-18% currently serving. We also know that almost half of student veterans are parents, with more than 16% being single parents. As we celebrate the resilience and success of student veteran moms across the country, we want to showcase these eight incredible student veteran moms and share their advice for their fellow student veteran moms.

Rachael Arthur:
Army veteran currently pursuing a degree in a psychology at Southern Oregon University.

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Her advice to other student veteran moms:

The advice I would give to other veteran mothers pursuing their degrees is to get involved with your campus veteran service organizations. My life is overrun by my children's needs; the activities and comradery I get from SVA and other veterans is unparalleled. I am able to feel like I have a life outside my home and the members of my campus' SVA are my family, they give me the support I need and a real sense of belonging. Most the veterans on my campus are parents as well, so our events tend to be family friendly, which is incredibly important to someone like me who is trying to raise children on my own and go to school full-time. Most importantly, things are going to get rough, they always do at some point. Don't give up, you will make it through and your children will watch you triumph. They will see your difficulties and see you succeed, this will help them later in life. They will look to your leadership. Don't give up!

Abby Kinch:

Air Force Veteran who recently completed her Masters of Public Administration and is pursuing her PhD in Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University.
Abby Kinch 2

Her advice to other student veteran moms: 

Keep your kids involved in your education. Do little things like set aside time where you all do your homework or study, put your report card on the fridge too, even if it's not the best, just to show them you're proud of your education. And most of all, make sure they're there when you walk across the stage at graduation. They should know that education is important, and that they're a part of that aspect of your life.

Nadia Zullo:
Army and Navy Veteran graduating this month with an MBA at Webster University. She also holds a BBA in Accounting from University of Texas at El Paso.

Nadia Zullo

Her advice to other student veteran moms:

Join the student veteran organization on your campus! I thought I was alone in this venture through higher-ed, until I received an email at the end of my first semester that went to all military funded students and I finally learned about SVA. I've made so many friends and connections through SVA who have helped me through my academic journey. Also, go to NatCon! I attended my first NatCon in Scottsdale in 2014, by myself, with no sponsor, seven months pregnant, working two part-time jobs, and with a husband that was deployed. I found so much information and resources, and finally realized how not alone I was, and finally found a place where I belonged.


Maureen Elias:

Army veteran currently pursuing her Master's in Mental Health Counseling at Bowie State University.
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Her advice to other student veteran moms:

Find the balance between, school, family, and self and don't be afraid to reach out for help. There are people out there who want to help that are simply awaiting your call.


Peshka Calloway:
Army veteran and former SVA Chapter leader at West Virginia University at Parkersburg where she earned her Bachelors of Arts with an emphasis in Business Administration.
Peshka Calloway

Her advice to other student veteran moms:

I have raised my son as a single mother my entire academic and now professional career. My advice to student veteran moms would be to connect with fellow veterans with children. My friend Justin is a single father of a daughter and I'm a single mother with a son. We have been each other's biggest cheerleaders. Our children are best friends and we celebrate and overcome challenges together. I was pretty much in a shell my first two years of college. I then got involved with the SVA chapter on my campus and became friends with other veterans with children and I got more involved. It's the best thing a student veteran mother could do, -- to find a support group of badass veteran parents. I honestly think veteran parents are the coolest parents this country (and other non-veteran parents) will ever get to know!


Kiersten Downs: 

Air Force and New York Air National Guard veteran currently a Doctoral Candidate, Department of Applied Anthropology, University of South Florida.

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 Her advice to other student veteran moms:

Being a mom was never in my five year plan. Now as a step mom, or bonus mom as I like to call myself, I have found more love and adventure than I ever could have imagined! The most important advice that was given to me was, to "never say never" and to "find and love your tribe". In this role I lean on my veteran network more than ever to help me ride the waves between my professional pursuits and family obligations.


Jennifer Hosley:
Army Veteran pursuing a degree in Middle Childhood Education Language Arts/Social Studies at University of Arkansas Fort Smith.

Jennifer Hosley

 Her advice to other student veteran moms:

The best advice I have for student veteran moms is to find a balance. There are going to be times you do not submit your best work because you were up late helping your son with his own project. Other times, you'll miss his game or forget to take him to a birthday party. I forgot to pick my son up from school once! It's okay. You don't have to be perfect; you just need to try to be organized and do what's best for your family today, tomorrow, and ten years from now. You got this!!


Dalila Minter:
Navy veteran currently majoring in Sociology at Pasadena City College.

Dalila Minter

Her advice to other student veteran moms:

My advice to other veteran mothers is to never forget why you are doing it. It's not the way you begin your education, but it's the way you take charge of it. Mistakes will be made, learn to balance, stay focus and never lose sight. For you are a strong independent veteran woman and mother!



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