The nearly 200 military veterans-turned-college-students at Ivy Tech Community College in Kokomo are among those invited to join in the official opening of the campus’ Veteran Resource Center Wednesday, Sept. 4.
A ribbon cutting by the Veterans Administration work-study students, and other student-veterans is set for 10 a.m. in the resource center, located in Ivy Tech’s recently renovated activity center in the Student Life Building.
“The Veteran Resource Center offers a secure place to study and socialize for our students who have served in the United States military,” said Melissa Dwight, veterans’ coordinator for Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region. “A room dedicated just for veterans, it’s space they can call their own as they make the sometimes challenging transition from military service back to civilian life.”
The center is furnished with a sofa, chairs, table, TV and DVD player funded by a grant from Operation Diploma, a program of the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University that works to improve the lives of service members and their families in Indiana and across the country. A grant from the SIA Foundation, the charitable organization set up by Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc., funded two computers, a printer and voice recognition software for use by the student-veterans.
“Ivy Tech Kokomo is committed to helping our students who have served our country and appreciate the support of these organizations in that effort,” Dwight said. “We are proud to be among the schools nationally who have been designated a ‘Military Friendly School’ by GI Jobs magazine for the various services we are able to provide.” This year, the magazine’s list included 1,739 schools representing the top 15 percent of America’s colleges, universities and trade/vocational schools that offer the best support, flexibility and value for active duty military and veterans pursuing an education.
The center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. It is staffed by six students approved for the work-study program for student veterans. Student veterans can come in and use the computers, study together, watch TV and socialize. The voice recognition software is among resources available to help students who returned from service with physical or occupational disabilities.
The center also serves as a drop-off point for anyone desiring appropriate disposition of a tattered American flag. “Our veterans are proud of their service to the country and proud of our country’s flag,” Dwight said. “The flags are taken to the Veterans of Foreign Wars post for repair or appropriate disposal.”
Community members, especially those with military service, are invited to the opening Wednesday.