Syracuse University helping veterans get back in the classroom and grow their business

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Syracuse University campus is usually quiet this time of year, as most students are home for the summer, but the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA) are welcoming veterans from across the country to campus this week.

In an effort to help veterans have a smoother transition to a civilian lifestyle, SU is hosting two free training programs.

The first is focused on teaching veterans the ins and outs of entrepreneurship and small business ownership. The second boot camp, the Warrior Scholar Project, provides resources to those heading back to the classroom after serving in the armed forces.

The transition can be a challenge for many, and it’s not just the service member, but it’s also the family and spouse. The whole idea is to just teach them the rules. They learn different rules in the military and their lifestyle is different in the military. We just have to teach them the rules in order to be successful.

Maureen Casey, Chief Operating Officer, Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families

Crystal Hunt is one of 20 veterans enrolled in the entrepreneurship boot camp. Her career as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army came to an end sooner than she expected, after being diagnosed with a chronic illness in 2019.

“It definitely was unexpected for me,” – Crystal Hunt

After making the tough decision to leave the U.S. Army, Hunt knew she wanted to become an entrepreneur and build her business, BelizeNCrystal, a gourmet international seasoning company.

“For the first time, we’re able to do things kind of for ourselves, but we’re all choosing, in a way, to still serve,” Hunt explained. “I know with all of our hardships and everything that we’ve gone through, I know that all those experiences made us better.”

During the pandemic, the Institute for Veterans and Military Families continued to provide services to veterans and their spouses through virtual programming.

This is the first time both programs are being held at the newly built National Veterans Resource Center on Syracuse University’s campus.

To learn about more IVMF’s programs and opportunities, click here.

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