Military service members are finding a bridge from the battlefield to the classroom, thanks to the Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP). The nonprofit organization maximizes educational opportunities for enlisted military personnel, those transitioning out of active service, and veterans by providing them with academic training and helping them become “informed consumers of education.”
The program aims to build service members’ confidence to pursue and complete four-year undergraduate programs at elite colleges and universities by orienting students to the challenges facing student-veterans as they transition from military service to college.
Georgetown undergraduate reflects on WSP experience
ABC7 WJLA recently profiled one beneficiary of the program, Georgetown University student and Army veteran Wesley Hughes, who enlisted in the Army directly after high school. Hughes says he did not have the confidence to attend college before enrolling as a Warrior-Scholar in one of WSP’s intense and immersive college-preparatory boot camps. “I just didn’t believe in myself,” he told WJLA. Hughes is now a 26-year-old student in his third year at Georgetown.
By partnering with academic institutions like Georgetown, WSP offers service members the option to select a one-week liberal arts workshop or a two-week liberal arts plus STEM workshop, both free to program participants. During the intensive sessions, Warrior-Scholars learn strategic reading and writing skills from university faculty members and instructors; they also learn how to take notes, prepare for tests, dissect syllabi, and access campus resources. The workshops also touch on life transition skills, called “degreening,” to help service members succeed in civilian life, classrooms, and campus communities. Degreening skills include time management, financial management, navigation of complex college admissions processes, and ways to maximize GI Bill benefits.
“I went in and did the Georgetown program, and it changed my life quite honestly,” Hughes told WJLA. “…All of these fears that I had of not being smart enough, not being capable, not being able to be with this institution at this level, it proved it all of it wrong.”
A recent gift of $850,000 from the A. James and Alice B. Clark Foundation will allow WSP to expand its services and programming for veterans. The foundation invests in academic support for veterans, along with initiatives to foster their career development, community integration, mental and physical health, and family partnerships.
WSP has graduated nearly 1,000 students from its training program since 2012.