Vet Voice Foundation Fellowship Program Application

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There are more than 2.5 Million veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars returning home from over-seas deployment. Many recognize how decisions made in Congress greatly impact and have long-lasting effects on their lives as well as the lives of their family and friends. At the same time, they see the lowest percentage of Congress made up by veterans in generations. In short, their expertise and opinion are underrepresented in the halls of power. The most recent statistics provided by the Congressional Research Service show that only 98 out of 6,060 or just 1% of employees on the Hill are veterans. Vet Voice Foundation (VVF) seeks to assist veterans interested in gaining experience to actively impact policy on Capitol Hill by utilizing their practical, unique and diverse skill sets.

Vet Voice Foundation works with many veterans who have a strong desire to become more involved in the policy-making process, and it is our goal to make that dream a reality. Veterans are often overlooked for positions on Capitol Hill and other places because their resumes lack traditional work experience. When returning home they have difficulty translating the value of their military experience to hiring managers, especially to those who haven’t served in the military. This is where VVF will assist in high-lighting their critical, translatable skills and ensure their voices have no boundaries.

For years, Congressional offices have expressed a desire to add veterans to their team, but veterans’ qualifications have been an obstacle. The goal of the Vet Voice Foundation Fellowship Program will be to ensure that veterans can financially afford to accept unpaid positions in Washington, and that Congressional offices are able to add a veteran’s voice to their policy team. The fellows will be provided formidable work experience so they become competitive for other jobs on Capitol Hill or in the policy arena following their fellowship experience. We see this as not only an extension of their public service, but an opportunity for them to become more engaged in critical domestic and foreign policy.

FELLOWSHIP MISSION:

The mission of the Vet Voice Foundation Fellowship Program is to recruit, train, support and place veterans in Congressional offices for a nine month period, in order to build a bench of high quality veterans who are experienced in how Congress works and who understand how public and foreign policy is developed, authorized and executed.

FELLOWSHIP INTENT:

With the experience and contacts they will gain during their tenure in Washington, our policy fellows will be better positioned to develop their careers by using their practical experience acquired during their service in Congressional offices. 21st century veterans can be a great asset to Members of Congress by providing first-hand accounts that may be helpful in developing legislation and programs that support our veterans and members of the armed forces and in the development of national security policy. The program is bi-partisan.

FELLOWSHIP BENEFITS:

- Monthly stipend of $5000

- Health care benefits

- Logistic assistance from the VVF Fellowship Program Manager

FELLOWSHIP ELIGIBILITY:

- Legal US resident

- Valid DD Form 214

- BA/BS preferred

- Served in US Armed Forces post 9/11/2001 (preferred but not necessary)

- No policy or political experience required

SELECTION PROCESS:

VVF will convene a selection committee of individuals independent of VVF or VoteVets.Org (no board members, staff, etc.) to review applications and make recommendations for the fellowships. Though VVF will have the final decision on selection, the committee will do a full review and ensure applicants meet VVF criteria. The committee will consist of veterans with diverse backgrounds and may include the following:

• Former Members of Congress

• Former Chiefs of Staff from Capitol Hill offices

• Former Agency Appointees

• Former White House staffers

• Veterans working in the private sector
 

Once the final fellows are selected and begin working on Capitol Hill, VVF’s involvement in the fellows’ work will be limited to providing program manager support, a monthly stipend and healthcare benefits. VVF may not legally engage the fellow on policy issues or urge them to take a message to their office.

Throughout the fellowship, VVF will require the fellows to provide two written updates on their work and what they have learned. VVF will also request that each office complete evaluations of the fellow halfway through their term and at the conclusion of the fellowship. VVF will provide a full evaluation of the program to its board and funders.

APPLICATION MATERIALS (to be submitted electronically via this form or mailed to the address below):

The completed application must be submitted in full by midnight 1 December 2015 via this page or to the address on the bottom of this application form.

- Department of Defense Form 214

- One page resume

- A completed application form

- A statement of purpose, not longer than two typed pages (Your personal statement about who you are, your interests, what you want to work on and your career path goals. Your statement of purpose provides you with the opportunity to communicate directly with the selection committee).

- A recent photograph in business dress

- Three letters of recommendation/reference to be sent directly to the address provided below.

- Official transcript to be submitted directly to the address below
 

Address for materials: PO Box 10031, Portland, OR 97296  

We do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation. Deadline for the application is December 1, 2015. Must be in Washington, DC and able to begin work January 11, 2016.

 

Please direct any questions about this application or the fellowship directly to jessica@vetvoicefoundation.org