Newly opened student veterans center provides important resources on campus

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Newly opened student veterans center provides important resources on campus

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The MLB All-Star Legacy Project, celebrated on July 5 of this past summer, completely transformed a campus house into a multipurpose space that helps student veterans with the transition from active duty to campus life.

To the student veterans on campus, this house is beneficial as a point of transition into civilian life, which is often a struggle, said Britnee Davis, president of the Student Veteran organization.

“We’ve had some people in some very dark places. We’ve almost lost a couple of us due to depression, anxiety, and other mixed things. This house, these people, this program, helps,” said Davis.

It is a goal of the student veterans to branch out and become part of the culture at BW, said Davis.

“We’re kind of used to being the outsiders, and we want to be able to have the same college experience as everyone else,” said Davis.

A variety of people and organizations visit the house to provide assistance and opportunities to the veterans. This has come in forms of financial seminars and advice regarding the transition into the job market.

“This place isn’t just a house or a home, it’s really a railway to the future. There are so many opportunities that walk through this door, you just have to seize them,” said Davis.

The house was renovated into a handicap accessible area with a quiet place for studying or counseling, a conference room often used for gaming, a reception and lounge area, and a full kitchen and bathroom. The backyard space consists of garden beds, a pergola, a fire pit and a gas grill.

“I love when I go over there and they’re working at the dining room table, helping each other with math. Some of them haven’t taken math for 20 years. They help each other, through each step along the way,” said Nancy Jirousek, director of Adult, Transfer and Military Services.

The connection that started this project came from Michael Brown, a BW alumnus who works for The Mission Continues.

When Major League Baseball contacted The Mission Continues, they were referred to Michael Brown, who then referred them Randy Stevenson, our Military Services Coordinator, said Jirousek.

Some organizations to visit the house include the Veteran Services Commission, Bank of America, Freedom Farms and the DD214 Chronicle.

Freedom Farms recently donated five brand new bikes for the student veterans to use.

They made a large donation and are really interested in getting involved with the program and students, said Davis.

The official approval for the project came at the end of March and had to be completed by July 5, with a cost of over $200,000, said Jirousek.

Major League Baseball, the Cleveland Indians, Lowes Home Improvement, Bank of America, and the Institute for Learning and Retirement greatly contributed when it came to donations.

It was a group effort with many different organizations coming together to support this project, said Jirousek.

The house is located on 105 E. Grand Street, across from our student union.

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