Applications Open for 2020 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship

Opportunity allows 10 student veteran VFW members to address issues directly with Congress

WASHINGTON (July 31, 2019) – The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and Student Veterans of America (SVA) are now accepting applications from student veterans who are interested in participating in the upcoming 2020 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship program. The fellowship, now in its sixth year, will bring up to 10 student veterans – who must be VFW members – to Washington early next March to meet face-to-face with their members of Congress and senior policy makers.

Student veterans interested in applying for the 2020 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship must complete an application package that includes a 1,500-word or less essay that proposes legislative improvements to one of the following four specific veterans’ issues:

  • Student veteran success on campus and beyond;
  • Improving veteran’s health care and benefits;
  • Transition from military to civilian life; or
  • Challenges for service members and military families.

The essay 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 federal policy solutions and community-based advocacy.

VFW-SVA Legislative Fellowship opportunities are open to all currently-enrolled student veterans. Fellowship candidates must be VFW members in order to be considered, the eligibility criteria for which can be found here. Selected fellows will be flown to Washington, D.C., to ensure the veterans’ voice is delivered to Capitol Hill alongside 500 fellow veterans’ advocates as part of the upcoming VFW Legislative Conference, March 1-5, 2020.

“The VFW’s advocacy efforts have led to the creation of every significant veteran and military quality of life program in this century and last,” said new VFW National Commander William J. “Doc” Schmitz. “The VFW is proud to continue sharing these opportunities with a new generation of veteran leaders through our strong partnership with SVA, which over the past five fellowship classes has produced positive legislative changes for our unique community.” 

“Given our ongoing collaboration to advocate for empowering policies, 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 President and CEO Jared Lyon. “This important program gives student veterans the opportunity to highlight policy ideas that support our military, our families, and our veterans. We look forward to welcoming our 2020 VFW-SVA Legislative Fellows to our nation’s capital.”

All applications must be submitted by close-of-business Sept. 30. Selected fellows will be notified before Thanksgiving, with a formal announcement of the 2020 fellowship class at the SVA National Conference in Los Angeles, Calif., in January. For full details about the VFW-SVA fellowship and to apply, visit VFW.org/StudentFellowship.

Past fellows have earned academic credit, found internships, accepted additional academic opportunities, and landed fulltime employment as a result of their fellowship experience. Several fellows have even had their research integrated into laws, which makes an everlasting impact on veterans, service members and their families.

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 SVA’s 2013 National Conference.