Applications Open for 2022 VFW, SVA Legislative Fellowship
WASHINGTON (Sept. 2, 2021) – The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and Student Veterans of America (SVA) are now accepting applications from student veterans who are interested in participating in the upcoming 2022 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship program. The fellowship, now in its eighth year, will bring select student veterans––who must be VFW members –– to Washington early next March to meet face-to-face with their members of Congress and senior policy makers.
Student veterans interested in applying for the 2022 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship must complete an application package that includes a 1,500-word or less essay that proposes legislative improvements to one of four specific veterans’ issues:
- Student Veteran success on campus and beyond
- Improving veterans’ health care and benefits
- Transition from military to civilian life
- Challenges for service members and military families
The essay proposal should include a discussion of why the issue is important to the veterans’ community, and how the fellowship candidate plans to address the issue through federal policy solutions and community-based advocacy.
VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship opportunities are open to all currently enrolled student veterans. Fellowship candidates must be VFW members in order to be considered, the eligibility criteria for which can be found here. Selected fellows will then be flown to Washington, D.C., to ensure the veterans’ message is delivered to Capitol Hill alongside 500 fellow advocates as part of the upcoming VFW Legislative Conference, Feb. 27 – March 3, 2022.
“Keeping our veterans, the military, and their families in the forefront of legislators’ minds is paramount,” said VFW National Commander Matthew “Fritz” Mihelcic. “Through this unique VFW and SVA partnership, the fellowship program provides the opportunity for a new generation of student veteran leaders to hone their advocacy skills, to directly impact veteran and military quality of life programs, and to be the face and voice of the veteran community to our elected officials in Congress. Now more than ever, veteran representation on Capitol Hill matters.”
“Our partnership with the VFW focuses on strengthening the opportunities and outcomes available to veterans, and this fellowship ensures Capitol Hill hears directly from those impacted by the programs and services we advocate for,” said SVA’s National President and CEO, Jared Lyon. “This important program cultivates the future of veteran advocacy and we look forward to welcoming the 2022 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellows to Washington.”
All applications must be submitted by close-of-business November 1. Selected fellows will be notified a few weeks after the deadline, with a formal announcement of the 2022 fellowship class at the SVA National Conference in Orlando in January. For full details about the fellowship and to apply, visit VFW.org/StudentFellowship.
Past fellows have earned academic credit for their experience, found internships, accepted additional academic opportunities, and landed fulltime employment as a result of their fellowship experience. Several fellows have even had their research integrated into laws, which makes an everlasting impact on veterans, service members, and their families.
The VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship is another example of the strong collaboration between VFW and SVA that resulted from a memorandum of understanding signed by the two organizations at the SVA National Conference in January 2013.
About the VFW: The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is the nation’s largest and oldest major war veterans organization. Founded in 1899, the congressionally chartered VFW is comprised entirely of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. With more than 1.5 million VFW and Auxiliary members located in over 6,000 Posts worldwide, the nonprofit veterans service organization is proud to proclaim “NO ONE DOES MORE FOR VETERANS” than the VFW, which is dedicated to veterans’ service, legislative advocacy, and military and community service programs. For more information, or to join, visit our website at vfw.org.
About Student Veterans of America: With a mission focused on empowering student veterans, SVA is committed to providing an educational experience that goes beyond the classroom. Through a dedicated network of more than 1,500 on-campus chapters in all 50 states and three countries overseas representing more than 750,000 student veterans, SVA aims to inspire yesterday’s warriors by connecting student veterans and military-affiliated students with a community of dedicated chapter leaders. Every day these passionate leaders work to provide the necessary resources, network support, and advocacy to ensure student veterans can effectively connect, expand their skills, and ultimately achieve their greatest potential. For more information, visit us at www.studentveterans.org.
VFW: Tammy Barlet, [email protected]
SVA: Lauren Augustine, [email protected]