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  • By Shelbi R. Ankiewicz

Student Veteran Association attends NatCon

Coastal Carolina University’s Student Veteran Association had the privilege of attending a nationwide conference held in Los Angeles, Calif. earlier this month.

The conference, NatCon, is three days’ worth of breakout sessions guided toward assisting veterans from military to student life. The event is held every year and it welcomes SVA’s from colleges and universities all over the nation to learn and lead.

“It’s the largest gathering of veterans in the United States. . . It’s designated to promote employer and student communication, as well as advocate for military affiliated rights on campus,” said Jeremiah Hust, Veteran Services’ Military Funding Coordinator.

This was the 12th annual NatCon and CCU’s third attendance. Coastal Carolina University’s SVA first heard about the conference through former SVA president David Yancey.

The purpose of NatCon is to bring back information to help better your university’s SVA, as well as your overall campus. In order to do so, there are sessions guided to teach new skills for students to learn.

I attended sessions that focused on how to transfer military leadership skills to leadership skills used on campus and in collegiate organizations.

CCU student veterans in attendance learned about topics such as how to advocate for veterans on a political level, how to welcome diversity and inclusion into our organization, and much more. Kourtney Scott, the SVA vice president, gathered information specifically for our SVA.

“Being the vice president of SVA, I brought back fundraising, budgeting, and support skills,” said Scott.

Although NatCon is targeted toward veterans, it is a great experience for everyone. I, as a dependent of someone who served, feel as if I gained just as much as anyone else. I learned about potential internship opportunities, lessons from motivational speakers such as Simon Sinek, and how to properly dress business casual.

“It was informative, motivational, opened up opportunities for post-college, and gave me a lot to look forward to each day,” said Scott.

Next year’s NatCon will be held in Orlando, Fla., at a Disney World resort. Our goal as SVA is to fundraise to be able to bring in as many interested students as possible. For more information about our NatCon experience, or how to get involved in the future, stop by Veteran Services in the Lib Jackson Student Union.

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