For Florida Gulf Coast University students who seek guidance from others who walk in their shoes, few peers are better equipped to offer advice than military veterans.
With that in mind, Students Who Served, a registered student organization at FGCU, is offering a new mentoring program through which volunteers among the estimated 250 veterans enrolled will pair up with interested students. With life experiences ranging from combat duty in defense of our country to extensive training in time management, organization and teamwork — among their many skills — veterans can make ideal role models for their classmates.
And whether it’s mentoring students who may be considering enlisting or perhaps choosing a military career, or just being available to “buddy-up” and offer general advice as older students who perhaps know the ropes a little better, veterans in this free program plan to keep the sessions geared toward individuals.
“Veterans have a vast array of life experiences that are anything but common, and talking to one may surprise you,” said Nikki Gowing, a senior biology major who’s president of Students Who Served and leader of the mentoring program. “Meetings will be set up on a personal basis — there will be no ‘all-encompassing’ meetings. Mentoring will be one-on-one and geared toward the schedules of the two people who will be meeting.”
Any veteran interested in serving as a mentor, or any student who would like to be paired with a veteran, should contact Gowing at [email protected].