2017 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship program

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 2017 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship program, providing 10 exemplary student veterans the opportunity to make their voices heard on Capitol Hill and in their community.

Preference for students studying political science, government, law, journalism, history or a related field.

VFW and SVA are now seeking candidates to serve as VFW-SVA Legislative Fellows in 2017. Candidates will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
1)  Current, active VFW membership (find a local post)
2)  Enrollment at a college or university with an active SVA chapter
3)  Studying political science, government, communications, history, law or a related field
4)  Submission of an essay based on one of the following four topic areas:
-Success of veterans in the civilian job sector
-The future of VA health care
-Success of veterans in higher education
-Successful transition from military to civilian life.
5)  Final over-the-phone interview with the selection committee

Selected VFW-SVA Legislative Fellows will be flown to Washington, D.C., to participate in the VFW National Legislative Conference, February 26 – March 3, 2017, 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 2017 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship will include three specific phases related to

 research  action  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
  • 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:

  • Success of veterans in civilian employment
  • 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 process has opened and the deadline is October 21, 2016.

To begin your application, click here. (Make sure you have everything ready to upload. You will need your VFW membership number.)