Our Educational Peer Mentorship Program assists Veterans in two ways — we use a unique peer-to-peer mentorship approach defined as a form of mentorship that takes place between a person who has lived through a specific experience and a person who is new to that experience, to help provide guidance and access of resources and benefits available to Veterans. Second, Chicago Veterans hosts various workshops and events to continue their education and transition throughout life.
Chicago Veterans Educational Peer Mentorship Program
The program helps provide Peer Support to fellow Veterans and their loved ones by meeting with service members who may be transitioning at different times in their lives, or who may have recently left service, in an effort to facilitate their transition. This support can range from navigating the initial claims process with the VA, continuing medical treatment plans for those that have been medically retired, gathering information and services for their loved ones, family support, assisting with access to educational resources, or to simply spend time with another likeminded individual who shares a common connection. These connections help build rapport, as well as establish better lines of communication, not telling them what to do, but instead sharing what worked for them and what didn’t.
Workshops & Meetups
We host and support multiple workshops including, housing assistance, resume building, e-Benefits training (a VA/DoD website that provides self-service capabilities to Veterans and their families), VA Home loans, GI Bill training and applying for college. Our Workshops are offered by professionals in their area of study and vary in time, location. Workshops allow veterans to collaborate with colleagues on best practices and help make informed decisions on what resources and benefits are right for them. Workshops help veterans continue their education and provide the necessary tools to assist with their transition throughout life.
Our Social Platform
In addition to in-person peer support, Chicago Veterans also created an online social platform where Veterans could post questions and get immediate answers from their peers. Our online social platform has over 3,000 members comprising of Veterans, family members, health specialists, program directors, veteran outreach coordinators, veteran service officers and other nonprofit professionals who regularly answer and post topics related to the successful transitions of Veterans.
The Veterans Hub, our Chicago Veterans office, serves as a hub for collaboration and coordination of services for veteran resources and information provided by government entities, veteran service organizations, educational programs, and universities, so that Veterans and their family members are able to navigate existing resources successfully. Veterans also utilize the Veterans Hub for personal development in a variety of ways such as: strategic planning for their own small business or organization, Wi-Fi, printers and office equipment for work or school, hosting meetings and workshops.