This past weekend, Student Veterans of America launched its first Peer Advisor Leader (PAL) Training session for its PAVE (Peer Advisors for Veteran Education) Program. In partnership with the University of Michigan’s Military Support Programs (MSPAN), PAVE was established to address the challenges facing veterans transitioning from military service to college.

19 student veterans representing SVA chapters from five universities (Auburn University, Central Michigan University, George Washington University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Maryland) were trained to lead veteran-to-veteran peer support programs on their home campuses. Through the course of the 2013/14 school year, these PALs will help newer student veterans navigate the college experience (academic and financial) while providing a gateway to mental health services available to veterans on campus.

"It’s up to all of us here at home to provide ample resources so the transition from battlefields to classrooms are as seamless as possible," said SVA PAVE Program Manager Matt Patton. "Such transitions are anything but easy. PAVE provides a bridge to an otherwise unclear and unnecessarily rough process for student veterans upon beginning their college education. To say this year’s Peer Advisor Leaders are up to the task is an understatement."