Growing accustomed to college life is a challenge all students face, but returning to school after serving in the armed forces makes the transition even more difficult. Female veterans oftentimes face different challenges than their male counterparts and California State University, Stanislaus aims to accommodate these women upon their return to civilian life through a Women Warrior Wellness Conference.
“Women veterans have been the unspoken segment of the veteran population for decades and have not traditionally been included in veteran benefits or services,” said Jennifer Grigoriou, coordinator of the Women Warrior Program. “They have internalized this silence and neglect, and in turn, they hesitate to identify themselves as veterans or think of their service as meaningful.”
The Women Warrior Program is an all-day event that puts female veterans in touch with services, including a wide range of speakers and features experts on art therapy, counseling, transgender issues and domestic violence among others. The conference is made possible by a $35,000 grant from Swords to Plowshares, a nonprofit organization with the aim of developing resources for veterans. Funds from the grant will also go towards the creation of a designated space for women in the Student Veterans Center as well as professional trainings and counseling.
The conference is open to the public and collaboration between the university and the community to generate support and increase awareness of female veterans’ needs. The opening ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. Feb. 20 at the Faculty Development Center where CSUS President Joseph F. Sheley will be present along with representatives from Swords to Plowshares, the CSU system and the office of Congressman Jeff Denham among others.
The all day event will include lunch after which several speakers will touch on the various services for female veterans followed by dinner and an evening program. The theme for the evening is Native American and LGBTQI veterans and two female led Native American drum circles will recognize women veterans through song.
Those interested in attending the Women Warrior Wellness Conference can register at https://csustan.askadmissions.net/Portal/EI/ViewDetails?gid=62357726d4b0e4d677482482f2d05df0b7c02d .