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Legislative FellowshipFellowship allows up to

10 student veterans to address issues directly with Congress

July 16, 2018


 WASHINGTON – The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and Student Veterans of America are seeking student veteran candidates to participate in their 2019 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship program. The fellowship, now in its fourth year, will bring up to 10 selected student veterans to Washington to meet face-to-face with their congressional members next spring in conjunction with VFW’s National Legislative Conference.

Student veterans interested in applying must complete an application package that includes an essay proposal on one of four specific legislative issues. The proposal should include a discussion of why the issue is important to the veteran community, and how the fellowship candidate plans to address the issue through federal policy solutions and community-based advocacy. Selected fellows will then be flown to Washington to ensure the veterans’ voice is delivered to Capitol Hill alongside 500 fellow veteran advocates as part of the 2019 VFW Legislative Conference on March 3-7. 

“The VFW has its fingerprints on every significant quality of life program created for veterans and the military for more than a century,” said VFW National Commander Keith Harman. “This fellowship will help shape the next generation of veterans who will advocate for our future here in the nation’s capital. This program is a great partnership with Student Veterans of America and VFW is honored to help our young veterans learn more about how Washington works and how they can continue to be a strong voice for the military and veteran community.”

“On the heels of Forever GI Bill, we’re excited to continue our partnership with the VFW to provide student veterans with the chance to make their voices heard on Capitol Hill,” said SVA President and CEO Jared Lyon. “This program empowers student veterans serving as chapter members to propose and advocate for future policies that support military families and veterans. We look forward to welcoming our 2019 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellows to our nation’s capital.”

VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship opportunities are open to currently enrolled student veterans at colleges and universities with active SVA chapters. Visit www.studentveterans.org/chapter/directory for find a chapter. Candidates must also be VFW members. Visit www.vfw.org/eligibility for more information on membership. For the application essay proposal, applicants must select one of the following veterans’ issues to write about:

 * Student veteran success on campus and beyond
 * Improving veteran’s health care and benefits
 * Transition from military to civilian life
 * Challenges for service members and military families

All applications must be submitted by close of business on Oct. 12. Selected fellows will be notified before Nov. 22 with a formal announcement of the fellowship at the SVA National Conference in Orlando in January. For complete details about the fellowship and to apply, visit www.vfw.org/community/student-veterans-of-america/student-fellowship.

Past fellows have earned academic credit for their experience, found internships, accepted additional academic opportunities, and even landed jobs as a result of their fellowship experience. Additionally, a member of the 2017 class became the first fellow to have their research integrated into legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.

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.