Photo Courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office
“This initiative will help veterans succeed in school and find long-term careers,” said Mayor de Blasio.
By Forum Staff
The de Blasio administration recently announced the formation of the NYC Veterans Mentoring Initiative, a public-private partnership bringing together government, service providers, universities, and others to ensure that the city’s veterans and their families have access to high-quality mentorship, according to City officials.
“Mentoring is good for the city by being good for veterans,” said Loree Sutton, commissioner of the City Department of Veterans’ Services. “Veterans make great New Yorkers—nationally, we know that veterans vote more, volunteer more, and are employed at higher rates than their peers. And, veterans often come to the city bringing hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal benefits. But, transition is a vulnerable time for veterans and their families. Mentoring drives behaviors—building discrete skills, making informed decisions about higher education, and learning how to cultivate networks—that increase the likelihood that a veteran can utilize their unique life experiences to contribute to the city. Given their demonstrated commitment to service, veterans and their families are ultimately happiest when they’re contributing to and leading within their communities and workplaces.”
According to the administration, the DVS is acting as “the backbone” of the Mentoring Initiative, setting the agenda, driving action, and convening stakeholders. The initiative is bringing together more than a dozen service providers that offer best-in-class mentoring for veterans and their family members. Officials said that the initiative will mentor at least 2,000 city veterans and family members by July 1, 2018.
“New York is at its best when all of its citizens are coming together,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This mentoring initiative will help veterans succeed in school and find long-term careers. This program is about building relationships between veterans and civilians, and recognizing what they have in common as citizens of this great city.”
The announcement includes a web page housed on the DVS website – nyc.gov/vets – that allows New Yorkers to engage with veterans and family members by serving as a mentor. In the fall, aligned with the beginning of the school year, the City will launch a marketing campaign targeted toward veterans and their family members. The campaign will steer veterans and family members to a website that will coordinate referrals to ensure that every mentee is getting the most out of their mentorship experience.
The initiative is the City’s first contribution to Veterans on Campus-NYC, a new coalition of major public and private universities in the five boroughs that aims to attract more student veterans by helping them to thrive once they’re here.