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Student Veterans

Disabled American Veterans: A resource for veterans to know

shutterstock_162286235Recently we talked with JoAnn Fisher, Department Commander, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Department District of Columbia, NLU alumna and a member of National Louis University’s Veterans Program Advisory Council. She shared interesting statistics about the DAV, as well as resources for disabled veterans.

According to the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, in 2012 more than 3.5 million U.S. military veterans had a service-connected disability. This number has greatly increased since 1986, when there were approximately 2.3 million veterans with service-connected disabilities. With a significant number of current disabled veterans, it is important that this population knows what resources are available to them and how to access them.

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Meet Andrew Heil, a student in the NLU Veterans Program

shutterstock_129353198Tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in Chicago. When the Army recruiter came to my high school, my ears perked up. I knew I wanted to be a law enforcement officer and learned a great deal about the field through my roles and responsibilities in the Army. My two primary roles in the Army were as a military police investigator and army recruiter. In 2011, I retired with 22 years of active duty in the Army, along with an additional 10 years of service in the Reserves.

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NLU providing learning support for student veterans

shutterstock_160630583As military veterans return to school, many are juggling work, family and an introduction/reintroduction to higher education. To help these students make the most of their college careers, some military-friendly colleges and universities have established learning support departments. Peter Ploegman is a learning support specialist at National Louis University, and recently he shared an overview of his work and the importance of providing learning support services for student veterans.

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Meet Riley Wright, a student in the NLU Veterans Program

photoTell us about yourself.

I grew up in California and moved to Texas at age 14 and then moved again to South Carolina. When I graduated from high school, I wanted to be a criminologist and get as much experience as I could. However, I discovered that I had to be at least 21 to be a criminologist. I wanted to get solid hands-on experience in the field, so I joined the Army at age 18 and served for five years in Germany and Fort Carson, CO.

I knew that as soon as I got out of the Army, I would go back to school to pursue my degree. I returned to civilian life in the fall of 2009. I am married now and have a six-month-old daughter. I live in Algonquin, IL, and attend National Louis University’s Chicago campus once per week.

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Transcendental meditation: An option to help veterans heal

shutterstock_129015947More than 22 million troops have served in the U.S. military, and as a result many carry very painful physical and emotional scars, including post-traumatic stress (PTS). According to researchers, including Norman Rosenthal, M.D., psychiatrist and medical researcher at Georgetown University Medical School and author of The New York Times bestseller, “Transcendence,” the practice of transcendental meditation (TM) has become an evidence-based mental technique for veterans who are looking to reduce their stress after returning from military life.

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ConnectVETS focuses on transitioning today’s military to tomorrow’s workforce

shutterstock_137298617Recently we talked with Emily Garrity, co-founder and president of ConnectVETS. She shared helpful information about ConnectVETS, as well as resources available to help veterans as they transition from military to civilian life.

Tell us about ConnectVETS.

Chicago-based ConnectVETS is a national leader in providing online job search education and career transition resources for transitioning service members and veterans to facilitate military talent acquisition. The organization focuses on building the bridge between military veterans and employers. ConnectVETS was founded in 2007 to support the men and women who have served our country by connecting veterans with private sector employment opportunities. ConnectVETS is also active in the Illinois Joining Forces Initiative, where I serve as the employer engagement sub-committee chair in the employment and training working group.

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Step One in any career search: Know yourself

shutterstock_105088013Emily Drake, Employer Outreach Specialist with the National Louis University Veterans Program, shares important career search and networking tips for student veterans.

Knowing your audience is arguably one of the most important elements in any successful transaction — asking someone out on a date, negotiating a merger or acquisition in the board room, requesting a raise at work and, of course, determining how to approach a potential employer.

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Top 4 budgeting tips for student veterans

shutterstock_65639707Steve Goodwin, military veteran and Vice President and Senior Portfolio Management Director at Morgan Stanley in Chicago — as well as a Chairman of the National Louis University Veteran’s Program Advisory Council — recently shared important budgeting tips for student veterans to keep in mind.

Military veterans have many transitions to make, including pursuing a college degree, when they return from active duty. Following a sound budgeting process can help to make the financial transition smoother, as well as identifying a military-friendly college or university. Below are some important steps to keep in mind for veterans returning to school.

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Tips for veterans for a successful college career … and beyond!

shutterstock_107196722Recently we spoke with Cynthia Rathunde, manager of veterans initiatives and special projects at the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and asked her for tips to help student veterans complete their college degrees and pursue meaningful employment.

Rathunde is an eight-year Air Force veteran who used her GI Bill benefits to earn her associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. Most recently, she worked at a higher education institution for six years as the veterans services coordinator, where she focused on veterans benefits, payment issues and streamlining the process for veterans.

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