The Veterans Resource Center at BMCC, welcomed representatives from the New York City Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS) to meet with student veterans on Oct. 18. The session provided BMCC student veterans with an opportunity to share their stories and ask questions about acquiring assistance for services including housing and health benefits. The event was part of the ongoing DVS Veterans on Campus Listening tour.
BMCC President Antonio Pérez welcomed everyone and shared the college’s ongoing efforts to support its student veterans. DVS representatives Jamal Othman, Assistant Commissioner of Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship and Cassandra Alvarez, Senior Adviser and Director of Public Private Partnerships, attended the session to unveil a new program called, Veterans on Campus-NYC, and to learn about some of the challenges student veterans are experiencing.
The most common topic discussed was the need for housing assistance. “Homelessness and housing are the biggest issues that we are trying to help resolve,” Otham said. “This issue is even more challenging in New York City."
Deborah Harte, Director of Single Stop at BMCC, attended the session to provide insight regarding the services offered by Single Stop and to learn how the Commissioner’s office is helping veterans with housing. "It’s an area we would love to partner with you,” said Harte to the DVS representatives. “We know how challenging it is to help our students with housing.”
The Veterans on Campus Program is designed to provide assistance to colleges in identifying and adopting best practices for serving veterans at their campuses. Otham said, he is hopeful that colleges, like BMCC, will partner with DVS to ensure a successful transition to college, careers and purpose-driven civilian lives.
In addition, Joshua Chrisman, Senior Operations Associate with American Corporate Partners, attended the session to inform BMCC student veterans about the Veteran Mentor Program, which connects veterans with professionals from a variety of public and private corporations through yearlong mentorships. The program offers veterans with skills including resume building, interviewing, networking and leadership.
For more information about the Veterans Resource Center at BMCC, call (212) 220-8000, Ext. 5363.