BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Misbehavin’ Notification: Women Veterans and Military Spouses Mentorship Program

Posted by YWM on September 14, 2011

USO, AARP and Military to Medicine Support BPW Foundation’s Joining Forces for Women Veterans Mentorship Program

Master Sgt. Juanita Milligan Wounded Warrior Tells Advisory Council Her Story

Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation’s Joining Forces for Women Veterans Mentorship Advisory Council (MAC) held its second meeting September 14 and heard from Master Sgt. Juanita Milligan, a wounded warrior preparing to retire from active duty Army service this year. Milligan was wounded in August 2005 when an IED exploded near her vehicle and she reached up to save her gunner.  Since then she has undergone numerous operations and is still in long-term physical therapy.  In hearing her inspirational story, the MAC members also learned of the challenges women wounded in service to their country face as they get ready to leave the military and prepare themselves for civilian life.

“Through its Joining Forces for Women Veterans Mentorship Program, BPW Foundation is working with public and private partners to develop the tools, outreach, and capacity to engage 100,000 women mentors to connect with women veterans like Juanita Milligan, as well as military spouses” said MAC Chair, Dr. Lynda Davis.  “By the end of 2012, in collaboration with our launch partner the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, we will have 10,000 mentors in place.”

During the meeting, Deborah L. Frett, BPW Foundation CEO, announced three new partnerships. “We are proud to have the support of these outstanding and caring organizations as we move forward to assist women veterans and military spouses find and develop successful careers. It is very exciting to be working organizations so committed to supporting our women veterans of all eras.”

  • A $25,000 grant from USO to support a targeted six month pilot project that will address career transition challenges and facilitate job access and adjustment for 15 female wounded, ill, and injured (WII) service members in the Ft. Carson area and the National Capital Region with women based out of Ft Belvoir and the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment. This project is a partnership of USO and Hire Heroes USA with support for job access by the US Chamber of Commerce.
  • AARP Foundation has joined BPW Foundation as a Leadership Partner. Emily Allen, Vice President, Income of the AARP Foundation will become a member of the Joining Forces for Women Veterans and Military Spouses Mentorship Council and lend her expertise on senior women’s issues to the program.
  • A pilot initiative with Military to Medicine (M2M) will provide 12 women veteran and/or military spouse M2M graduates with mentors through the Joining Forces for Women Veterans Mentorship program.  Mentoring will afford the women support and expert, trained guidance as they prepare to use their new skills in the workplace and embark on careers in the medical field.  Mentors will provide the workplace know how, encouragement, coaching and support needed to help the M2M graduates find appropriate jobs and then successfully navigate the new workplace environments, advance in their careers, and find work-life balance and personal growth.

“The USO sees the Joining Forces for Women Veterans Mentorship Program as a perfect complement to the services we already offer to support our nation’s wounded warriors as they transition to the civilian workforce,” said Susan Thomas, Vice President of Programs- Wounded Warriors.  “We look forward to working with BPW and following the progress of these 15 women as they move into the next phase of their lives, and are looking forward to the prospect of expanding this reach in 2012.”

Members of the MAC include: Patricia Adams, Dep Asst Sec of Navy Civilian HR, Dept of Navy; Emily Allen, Vice President, Income, AARP Foundation; Erica Banks, Director, Talent Programs, USAA; Bonnie Carroll, President and Founder, TAPS; Dr. Lynda Davis, Senior VP, Service Member, Veterans and Family Support, ICF International; Pamela Eggleston, Director, Blue Star Families; Susan Feland, President, AcademyWomen, Deborah Frett, Chief Executive Officer, BPW Foundation; Dawn Halfaker, Founder and CEO, Halfaker and Associates, Inc; Deborah Lee James, Executive Vice President, SAIC; Dr. Kimberly McClain, Lead of Military Interest Group, Accenture; Jim McMahon, Director, Talent Acquisition and Military Outreach, Traveler’s Insurance; Kathy Moakler, Government Relations Director, National Family Military Association, Robin Portman, Senior Vice President, BoozAllenHamilton; Elaine Rogers, President, USO Metro, Lisa Rosser, President, The Value of a Veteran; Kevin Schmiegel, Vice President, Veteran Employment Program, US Chamber of Commerce; Dorothy Skube, Secretary of the Board, Alliant Credit Union Foundation; Linda Speed, Deputy Director for Transition Services, MOAA; Dr. Celia Szelwach, Founder, WOVEN; Charlotte Tsoucalas, Senior Advisor, TRIWEST; and Catherine Wilson, Executive Director, VA Wounded Warrior Program

To learn more about the Joining Forces for Women Veteran’s Mentorship Program, visit the BPW Foundation website.

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