VFW, SVA Now Accepting 2018 Legislative Fellowship Applications

Opportunity allows 10 student veterans to address issues directly with Congress

WASHINGTON — The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and Student Veterans of America (SVA) are seeking student veteran candidates to participate in their 2018 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.

Student veterans interested in applying for the 2018 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship 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 veterans’ community, and how the fellowship candidate plans to address the issue through community-based advocacy. Selected fellows will then be flown to Washington to ensure the veterans’ voice is delivered to Capitol Hill alongside 500 fellow veterans’ advocates as part of the 2018 VFW Legislative Conference, March 4-9.  

“The VFW is responsible for the passage of every significant veteran and military quality of life program in this century and last, and we want to continue sharing this experience with a new generation of veteran leaders through our partnership with SVA and our annual Legislative Fellowship program,” said VFW National Commander Brian Duffy. “The past three fellowship classes really showed me that a new generation of leaders is ready to step up and take action. I can’t wait to see what this year’s class brings to the halls of Congress.” 

“Given our recent joint progress advocating improvements to the 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’s President and CEO, Jared Lyon. “This important program gives student veterans the opportunity to highlight future policies that support military families and veterans. We look forward to welcoming our 2018 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. Candidates must be VFW members, the eligibility criteria for which can be found here. For the application essay proposal, applicants must select one of the following veterans’ issues to write about:

  • Veteran success on campus
  • How to improve the VA health care system
  • Ways to strengthen the Post-9/11 GI Bill
  • Transition from military to civilian life

All applications must be submitted by close-of-business Oct. 20, 2017. Selected fellows will be notified before Thanksgiving, with a formal announcement of the fellowship class at the SVA National Conference in San Antonio in January. For full details about the fellowship and to apply, visit: www.vfw.org/StudentFellowship.

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.