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Student Veterans Help Others Transition to Civilian Life National Louis University students direct peers to benefits, jobs

Jamal Williams and Keith Reynolds.

National Louis University student veterans Jamal Williams, left, and Keith Reynolds host a table and provide information to help other student veterans transition from the military to civilian life.

Military-connected students at National Louis University know it takes guidance, as well as persistence, to successfully transition from a military career to one in the civilian world.

Some of them tried to bring information and resources for doing so to their fellow students this month. Jamal Williams, Keith Reynolds, Bianca Elmore and LeShawn Daniels staffed a table to welcome student veterans and military-connected students. They are members of the NLU Chapter of Student Veterans of America.

Grants available to help veterans transition into civilian workforce

The U.S. Department of Labor-VETS provides a funding grant that is administered by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, said Elmore, who works for the VETS (Veteran Employment and Transition Services) program.  It provides one-on-one assistance to veterans to help them transition back into the workforce after their military service.

Bianca Elmore.

Bianca Elmore, a National Louis University student veteran who also works for the U.S. Department of Labor’s VETS program, hosted a table providing information for veterans transitioning to civilian life.

It also provides information on the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) for veterans.

Elmore encouraged veterans and student veterans to visit an American Jobs Center location for help with local job searches, apprenticeships, internships and information about education. American Jobs Centers can be found in numerous locations throughout Chicago and suburbs; find a full listing here.

The students also promoted NLU’s USO service event, the Care Package program, which asks the university community to donate snacks, toiletries and other helpful items for service members. NLU’s Veterans Resource Center and Civic Engagement Center are sponsoring the drive. Anyone may also volunteer to help pack the supplies on May 23.

Donate these supplies to make care packages for service members

LeShawn Daniels.

LeShawn Daniels provides information to student veterans at NLU.

Organizers are asking for donations of instant or ground coffee, baby wipes, meat jerky, protein or granola bars, plastic jars of peanut butter, snack mixes, gum, cheese singles, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shower shoes, lotion, shampoo, tissues, hair ties and lip balm. Monetary donations are also gladly accepted.

Anyone is also welcome to write cards or letters to members of the military.

For more information or to volunteer on May 23, contact Stacey Dixon in NLU’s Veterans Resource Center at sdixon11@nl.edu.