In honor of Veterans Day this past Friday, the USF HerdFunder Project is seeking donations to celebrate veterans' service throughout the month.
The initiative is intended to replenish funds to sustain the functionality of the Office of Veteran Success (OVS). The program has currently raised $3,725 toward a goal of $10,000 and the campaign will end Nov. 30.
“OVS will use the donations to help veterans with their transition from military to college to employment,” said Ken Nahrwold, OVS Mentoring Program Coordinator.
Established in 1973, OVS is geared toward providing veterans with resources for professional and personal success.
OVS is currently servicing over 2,000 veterans, eligible dependents, active duty service members and members of the Selected Reserve.
Donations will fund the various programs offered in academic enhancement programs and vet-to-vet tutoring.
Also, a three-credit-hour veteran’s success class is offered to teach VA benefits, academic success strategies, financial planning as well as employment readiness — resume writing, interviews and networking.
In addition, an on-campus VetSuccess counselor is available for career counseling, readjustment counseling, job placement assistance and health care assistance.
Opportunities to enhance academic achievements include a national partnership with “Got Your Six,” a campaign to aid in the transition from military to civilian life. The chapter is designed for student veterans to utilize the campus education program to enhance all aspects of their lives.
Money-saving options include the VA Work Study Program for employment at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, several scholarship opportunities — most notably the Tillman Foundation Scholarship where USF is one of 16 schools selected to participate — and the GI Bill with an online processing system for applicants to use their funds for any semester.
As the mentoring coordinator, Nahrwold’s responsibilities with OVS is to pair a currently enrolled student veterans with a local business mentor for insight into his or her desired profession.
“This gives the veterans the knowledge before they use all of their funds,” Nahrwold said. “It’s to prevent them from entering a field they don’t want to work in.”
Over the course of a year, Nahrwold has witnessed the impact OVS is making on the veteran community.
“I started last year in December and I’ve seen more and more veterans coming in and taking advantage of all the opportunities that are offered here,” Nahrwold said. “It allows us to do what we love and help them.”