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Earlier this summer, our Freedom Fun Run 5K raised $12,500 in funds for WVUP’s Veteran Resource Center. According to Darren Shearlock, the university’s veterans advocate, the resource center, “creates a space where we can help student veterans achieve their professional and educational goals. We provide work stations to give them a quiet place to study, as well as a space to socialize, and a place where veterans can discuss veteran-specific issues on campus.”
Other services provided by the center include helping students to manage college credit transfers and to secure financing through the GI Bill.
The opportunities available to student veterans at WVUP are invaluable in helping them move forward professionally.
“Right now across America, we’re in a changing economy. Jobs that your parents used to have won’t be able to provide a lot of young people the careers that they’re looking for to reach that middle class lifestyle. In order to change with the economy, they need new skills. And at WVUP, we’re able to help them achieve those skills, get degrees and certificates that will make them competitive in a 21st Century environment, at one of the lowest rates in the state,” Shearlock said.
In addition, for many students, pursuing higher education can provide benefits that go beyond the academic and even the professional. And we were touched by the positive stories we heard about their successes. Shearlock gave the example of a student whose husband passed away, leaving her without a source of income or social support.
“When she came in, there were two things we could do for her. One was to help her re-tool and get back into the workforce. But just as importantly, we could give her a sense of purpose with what she was doing with her life…We provided that social support structure,” Shearlock said.
Shearlock’s personal and professional background gives him the kind of insight necessary to effectively support student veterans. He served over 20 years in the U.S. Army and was deployed numerous times. He took advantage of the GI Bill to earn his Master’s Degree and went on to pursue a doctorate with the goal of teaching at the collegiate level.
“When an opportunity came to both educate people and help veterans at the same time, I couldn’t pass it up,” he said.
If you’re a veteran in need of more information about legal representation or veterans’ benefits, please give us a call anytime at 1-877-526-3457. One of our representatives will be happy to answer your questions.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law