Contributor: Adrian Moreno
February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate the contributions and achievements of African Americans throughout history. The Wyakin Foundation wanted to take a moment to say thank you to America’s Black veterans who have given so much in service to this country while also acknowledging the struggle some Black veterans may face as they transition to civilian life.
For many Black veterans, the transition from military service to college or trade school can be a daunting experience. They may face unique obstacles, such as access to affordable education, cultural barriers, and a lack of support networks.
Since September 11th, 2001, 35% of veterans have been minorities, with Black veterans making up 15%. (Cohen and Boschma) Yet, despite the growing numbers of Black and Brown veterans, access to services and support has not always kept up.
Black veterans have the lowest rate of Post 9/11 disability claim approvals at 30.3%, the second lowest rate is for Asian/Pacific Islander veterans. (Morrison) Black veterans also have higher rates of unemployment, barriers to mental health services, and report a higher need for financial assistance, food, housing, and childcare. (USAtoday)
But despite these challenges, many Black veterans are pushing forward and pursuing higher education with determination and resilience. The Wyakin Foundation wants to support Black veterans as they achieve their definition of success.
At the Wyakin Foundation, we’re committed to helping veterans overcome the challenges of transition and succeed in their academic pursuits. Through our mentorship program, we provide veterans with a supportive network of individuals who understand the unique challenges they face and can offer guidance and support as they navigate the educational system.
We provide our veterans with access to a range of resources and services, including academic advising, career counseling, and financial aid assistance. These resources help to level the playing field and ensure that Black veterans have the tools they need to succeed in higher education.
As we celebrate Black History Month, we want to recognize and uplift the experiences and achievements of Black veterans in higher education. At the Wyakin Foundation, we’re proud to support and empower Black veterans as they transition from military service to civilian life and pursue their academic and career goals.
There are many great examples of Black veterans shaping America’s history. To see some please refer to the links provided.
Black History Month list of exhibits and collections: https://www.blackhistorymonth.gov/exhibits-and-collections/
African American Military Heritage: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/military/african-american.htm
Cohen, Zachary, and Janie Boschma. “Military data reveals dangerous reality for black service members and veterans.” CNN, 14 June 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/13/politics/military-diversity-data/index.html. Accessed 28 February 2023.
Morrison, Aaron. “Black veteran groups seek policy agenda on racial inequities.” Military Times, 23 June 2022, https://www.militarytimes.com/veterans/2022/06/23/black-veteran-groups-seek-policy-agenda-on-racial-inequities/. Accessed 28 February 2023.
USAtoday, editor. “Equity for Black people, especially veterans, suffers during pandemic.” USA Today, 24 February 2021, https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2021/02/24/how-advance-equity-black-veterans-column/6784729002/. Accessed 28 February 2023.