November 10, 2021

Office of Military and Veterans Academic Excellence recognizes Veterans Day, first year of Vet Success Services program

Members of Wayne State University's Student Veterans Organization (SVO), known as “Warriors for Warriors," walk during this year's Detroit Veterans Day Parade in Corktown.

Ask Jaime Lopez how Wayne State University’s Vet Success Services (VSS) program is going, and he’ll respond with two words: strong and growing.

In the first 10 months of a $1.2 million U.S. Department of Education grant to supplement student success services for military veterans, Lopez said that the program has provided support to over 90 Warrior veterans.

Jaime Lopez headshot
Lopez

“The participating veterans — all of whom come from low-income, first-generation or disability backgrounds — have gained tremendously from a range of services established under the grant,” said Lopez, academic success coach in WSU’s Office of Military and Veterans Academic Excellence (OMVAE). “As a former Wayne State veteran student, I know how important it is to have a safeguard against possible hardship and adversity. The VSS program acts as a safeguard and helps to strengthen that safety net for our vets.”

In total, the five-year grant serves 120 currently enrolled student veterans each academic year, providing intensive advising, career preparation, financial aid information and benefits assistance that includes:

On Wednesday, Nov. 10, OMVAE celebrated the Marine Corps 246th birthday with a traditional ceremony. On Veterans Day itself, the SVO will treat WSU’s military-affiliated students to lunch in the Student Veteran Resource Center.
  • Student loaner technology: Participating students can receive free laptop loaners, headsets and webcams to fill any existing needs for as long as they require.
  • Peer mentorship initiative: Vet Success Services has partnered with Peer Advisors for Veterans Education (PAVE), a peer mentoring program that connects new or existing veteran students with local student veterans at WSU who are trained as peer advisors. “They help students navigate college life, address challenges, or refer them to appropriate resources on or off campus,” Lopez said.
  • Free online tutoring: Participants also receive free online tutoring available 24/7 through tutorme.com. This resource provides on-demand one-on-one tutoring from highly qualified tutors on more than 300 subjects.   
  • Participants are provided with personalized advice and assistance while navigating resources, course selection and their military benefits.

While the VSS program is relatively new, the university’s Office of Military and Veterans Academic Excellence is well-versed in serving the needs of Wayne State’s veterans. This year, on Veterans Day and throughout the week, OMVAE has scheduled a slate of activities in partnership with the WSU Student Veterans Organization (SVO), known as “Warriors for Warriors.”  

Matthew McLain headshot
McLain

“The SVO has been in full force since last weekend, when they represented at the Warrior football tailgate and at the Detroit Veterans Day Parade in Corktown,” said Matt McLain, assistant director of OMVAE. “On Tuesday, they conducted their annual cold weather clothing drive on the first floor of the Student Center Building. For a small donation, participants could purchase a hat or pair of gloves that is then donated — along with all proceeds — via our partners in Team Rubicon to ‘Operation Allies Welcome’ supporting displaced Afghanistan refugees who served beside the United States and coalition forces.”

On Wednesday, Nov. 10, OMVAE celebrated the Marine Corps 246th birthday with a traditional ceremony. On Veterans Day itself, the SVO will treat WSU’s military-affiliated students to lunch in the Student Veteran Resource Center.

“It is inspiring and humbling to see the community come together on Veterans Day to honor the men and women who have served their country,” McLain said. “No one knows better than a veteran what the true meaning of service and sacrifice is — and for OMVAE, we strive to honor that service and sacrifice each and every day.”

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