One quarter of student veterans deal with severe depression and more than a third suffer from acute anxiety. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects close to half of student veterans putting those who survive deployment at increased risk of suicide. The Student (SVF) is a 50C-3 non-profit organization incorporated in the state of Florida and is a nationwide movement working to address these issues. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, we rely on evidence-based methods for supporting and serving veterans on college campuses as they transition to civilian life. Our multifaceted programs are offered on and off campus to students and their families to help them embrace hope, identify new pathways for success, and have the best college experience possible.
The Mission of Our Founder Daniel Bolan:
Daniel Bolan established the SVF as a 19-year-old college student based on his extensive research of multiple colleges throughout the United States. But the journey began when Daniel was just 14 years of age. Driven by his passion and love for the veterans in America, he was determined to start a foundation that would help veterans not only financially but holistically.
Bolan began to see the unique challenges of this population. His research showed that most student veterans quit college, and more than 35 percent suffer from acute anxiety. He was dismayed to realize that more than twenty percent of student veterans suffer severe depression and those who survive war and return home commit suicide before they can finish their college education. In fact, seven percent of veterans attending college attempt suicide, possibly due to socialization issues or depression. Statistically, over 46 percent of student veterans have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Such figures formed the basis of Bolan’s desire to establish the SVF to help these individuals enjoy a better quality of life.
Daniel began work on his book, Forgotten Leaders, in the fall of 2018 and continued to develop the manuscript from this research through 2019. The book is now set for publication by Defiance Publishing and will be released this month (May 2020).
Challenges of the Increased Student Veteran Population:
Over the last two decades, the number of student veterans in education institutions in America has grown exponentially. Due to their life experiences and challenges in the battlefields, these student veterans face numerous challenges reintegrating with their community and in schools. This increasing trend has led to the development of different programs in an effort to increase or speed up the reintegration measures of the veterans in society.
Numerous studies note that these individuals face challenges when they leave the forces for various reasons. Experiencing the shift from the military lifestyle to student life makes it hard to integrate with civilians, even family members. Organizations like the Student Veterans Foundation (SVF) are on the rise with an aim to help veterans seamlessly reintegrate.
Our research identified the need for the following:
An on-campus program to create Student Veteran Teams to help foster a more familiar structure to the daily life of the Student Veteran
Validated content of an educational program that will help Student Veterans get the most of their college experience
Regular Student Veteran Team meetings to identify and create more programs and events that will benefit the Student Veteran
Proudly Served Gear that will identify Veterans on campus and thank them for their service (This will allow other students to realize who these students are and to allow them to recognize one another more easily.)
About the SVF Programs:
The SVF offers a variety of resources as well as assistance with career placement during training and before and after graduation. This holistic support ranges from social, to economical, to psychological.
Our Educational Program:
An on-campus educational program offers fully developed content written by an expert in neuroscience based on over 20 years of research and validated by MIT. This three-semester, 3-credit hour curriculum is supported with textbooks, workbooks, and teacher’s guides with additional content for Team meetings for the entire school year.
Our Auxiliary – How to Get Involved:
The off-campus program of the Auxiliary was developed to bring members the community and businesses into the fold to help support the SVF. Business leaders, Veterans organizations, and other supporting individuals will be able to help as Team Leaders. We are garnering the assistance of event planners, fund raisers, and supporting veterans and their families to help build the SVF organization across the nation.
The SVF Choice Program:
The SVF Choice program enables local and national businesses that have presence near each campus the ability to participate with something we call, the Choice Card. Each Student Veteran and their family members will be given a Choice Card that they can use at supporting business around the campus to reduce cost of the of products, services, and events provided by the participating businesses. We see this as a win-win offering much needed and well-deserved discounts to the Student Veterans and bringing new customers to the local business community.
Strike for Vets
Strike for Vets was created by Daniel over six years ago in an effort to support Veteran’s organizations with something that is near and dear to Daniel; bowling. Strike for Vets started by helping build a rehab center in Tampa and then went national by assisting with Fisher House. This segment of the organization will be devoted to creating events from simple one-day fundraiser to major concerts and national events. Strike for Vets will allow the SVF to raise awareness and funding for the Student Veterans Foundation throughout each year.