Monday, June 3, 2013

Student Vets CC Rider for Education

Student Veteran's Cross-Country Ride for Education
WASHINGTON, DC - On June 2, student veteran leader Kiersten Downs began a 3,800 miles cross-country bike ride to raise awareness and support for Student Veterans of America (SVA). Downs, a doctoral student at the University of South Florida, former-president of the USF SVA chapter, and a member of the SVA student council, is making this three-month journey from San Francisco, CA to Washington, DC.

"I chose to ride for Student Veterans of America because I have seen firsthand the important role that SVA chapters play in advocating for and assisting student veterans on campuses across the country," Downs said. "I have had the opportunity to work with some of the most talented and motivated student veterans and I want to see them succeed."

Michael Dakduk, executive director of Student Veterans of America, commended Downs' commitment:

"Kiersten is an exemplary leader. She is a tireless advocate for student veterans locally, and has provided invaluable insights as a member of SVA's national student council. But Kiersten isn't an anomaly. Veteran leaders like her exist at every college and university in the United States. Bringing attention to their efforts and education is essential."

Downs hopes that her trip will inspire students to seek out student veteran organizations, or create them if they do not yet exist.

"With the continued support of SVA, student veteran organizations across the country are changing the national dialogue surrounding veterans. Too often, media stories highlighting military veterans are negative. I'm working alongside my veteran colleagues to change this dialogue into one that is focused on our strengths rather than weaknesses."

The ride's title sponsor is the Veterans of Foreign Wars with additional support provided by the George Washington University, VetAdvisor, Cannondale, and Voler.

At the completion of her ride, SVA will host a reception at the National Veterans Center in Washington, DC on August 6. Details on that event will be available soon. 

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