Student Veterans Organization at Manhattan College answers the call to veterans in need
For those veterans adjusting back into civilian life, it can be tough finding a job or continuing their education. Manhattan College has a program to help.
At Manhattan College, there's a room unlike any other on campus not just because of the people you find inside, but also the tributes on the wall.
A map is on display showing each and every location Manhattan College's student veterans have been deployed to both at home and abroad.
However, the transition from military life to student life can be a challenge. That's where the Student Veterans Organization (SVO) answers the call.
Andrea Toral served seven years in the Army. She's now the president of the SVO. They offer study groups, career resources, peer support, stress relief sessions and more.
"You never know who is here, struggling with the same issues that you are," she says.
She says one of the biggest challenges facing vets when they return to school is adapting to the lack of a strict regimented schedule.
Chris Norberto agrees. The Bronx native spent most of the last decade in the Navy before enrolling at Manhattan College. He calls the program "a Godsend."
"I got accepted here, I was elated. A big sense of what we lose is our purpose when we get out. And I felt purposeless, and I felt like I didn't have a goal. Got in here. Had a goal, had a direction I was looking and going in," Chris said.
That direction involves helping others here at the Veterans Success Center which opened its doors four years ago.
This year, they're marching in the Veterans Day Parade after it was canceled last year due to COVID.
"This is my first year to be able to do it, so yeah I'm really excited," says Chris.
Then it's back at the center, continuing the same marching forward.