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Student Fellowship

In keeping with VFW's commitment to student veterans' success, the VFW is once again partnering with Student Veterans of America (SVA) to host the 2016 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship program, providing 10 exemplary student veterans the opportunity to make their voices heard on Capitol Hill and in their community.  

VFW and SVA are now seeking candidates to serve as VFW-SVA Legislative Fellows in 2016. Candidates will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Submission of an essay proposal based on one of four priority issues for the veterans' community
  • VFW membership eligibility
  • Current enrollment at a college or university with an active SVA chapter
  • Preference for students studying political science, government, law, journalism, history or a related field

Selected VFW-SVA Legislative Fellows will be flown to Washington, D.C., to participate in the VFW National Legislative Conference, February 28 - March 3, 2016, where they will walk the halls of Congress, educating their legislators on the issues facing today’s student veterans alongside mentors selected from the VFW National Legislative Committee. Fellows will also have additional opportunities to meet with policy-makers from federal agencies responsible for implementing veterans' policy, as well as reporters who cover military and veterans' affairs. 

To enhance the experience for this year's fellows and to build a program for which they can earn academic credit, the 2016 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship will include three specific phases related to research, action and reporting.

Fellowship candidates: You must select one of four specific policy issues on which to focus your advocacy efforts as the topic of your essay submission for your application. Your essay should be a proposal that includes a discussion of why this issue is important to the veterans' community; the local impact of this issue on your community; and steps you propose to take to address the issue through legislative advocacy following your time on Capitol Hill.

Following the VFW National Legislative Conference experience, fellows will be responsible for executing their advocacy plan in their home district and submitting a comprehensive report on their total fellowship experience to their VFW state convention, as well as the VFW and SVA national offices.

The policy issues from which you must choose are:

  • Effects of budget sequestration on our military and veterans
  • The future of VA health care
  • Success of veterans in higher education
  • Successful transition from military to civilian life
Expenses covered for the fellowship include airfare, hotel accommodations, local transportation to/from meetings and a per diem allowance to participate in the VFW National Legislative Conference.

 

The application deadline has passed. Stay tuned for more information on the 2017 application. 

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FELLOWSHIP TESTIMONIALS

"This fellowship will forever change your perception of the VFW."
 -Carlos Santana, 2015 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellow

"After meeting great Americans from the fellowship, I realize my country and my fellow brothers and sisters-in-arms still need me in the fight."
-Michael Stinfer, 2015 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellow

"I had the opportunity to experience our nation at work. I saw the value of every veteran's sacrifice towards advocacy of benefits for all."
-Rogaciano Villalobos, 2015 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellow

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