"Student veterans are not typical students. Many of them have seen and done things that many of us don’t understand."
Louisiana will be the second state in the nation with Student Veteran Centers on every campus after the signing of a memorandum supporting the statewide LaVetCorps Program.
On February 13, Governor John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) Secretary Joey Strickland came together for the signing at Baton Rouge Community College.
"I can tell you that when I came back to college to finish my education after serving, it felt really lonely," Strickland said. "There is no lonelier feeling for a veteran than a college campus where they don't know where to find services. Student veterans are not typical students. Many of them have seen and done things that many of us don’t understand."
Opening in the Fall of 2019, thirty veteran resource centers on campuses across the state will be opening. Schools include Louisiana Community and Technical College System, University of Louisiana System, LSU System, and the Southern University System. This also includes all four Louisiana public college systems and Xavier University of Louisiana.
"This is about empowering our veterans when they're transitioning back into society after serving their country." Gov. Edwards said. "We're also making sure that these folks don't lose money when registering for schooling while they're away. My only request is that you share my excitement in this, especially since we are helping our veterans."
At each LaVetCorps veteran resource center, an LDVA trained LaVetCorps navigator who is also an AmeriCorps service member, will be a peer mentor for a veteran student who is transitioning. LaVetCorps will also provide training and support to the faculty on colleges, staff, and administration about veteran needs and veteran culture.
More than 8,300 Louisiana veterans bring in more than $185 million dollars federally to Louisiana’s high education communities each year via the GI Bill funding. There are also over 284,000 veterans, along with family members, who need comprehensive care in education, benefits, healthcare, long-term care, and burial honors.
"With the implementation of these centers on campus, we will be showing our support to our veterans at a large scale, and having these centers at every institution in Louisiana is a big deal," Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed said. "We have more than a welcome mat out for them. We have a success mat."
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