The New York Film Academy College of Visual & Performing Arts (NYFA) recently welcomed many new veteran students to the Los Angeles and New York campuses. As a commitment to support veterans’ education, the NYFA Veterans Services team offered a veteran-specific “orientation” to help them acclimate to the campus and foster camaraderie within the incoming class of 2016. Often times it is the “vet to vet” interaction that helps veterans readjust to civilian life after military service.
NYFA Veteran Coordinators, Eric Brown, Michael Kunselman, and Chris Paparis—veterans themselves—organized the orientations in LA and NY. Each of them has utilized their GI Bill by pursuing their education to obtain their degrees, and so they know firsthand how difficult it can be to start this new journey in an academic setting.
The orientations focused on all aspects of a veteran’s transition including an overview on the services that the NYFA Veterans Services team provides, such as: information on student life, explanations as to how GI bill benefits work, how to obtain VA healthcare benefits, institutional policies, and providing new students the opportunity to network and develop relationships with one another. The veterans in attendance had the opportunity to speak with VA healthcare representatives and sign up for VA healthcare benefits while scheduling medical visits at the local VA Hospital right on the spot.
First year Photography student, Luis Amador, expressed that he “had been putting off seeking assistance with the VA Healthcare system for many reasons, but being able to enroll right from school was a huge benefit.”
At the orientation event, veterans and active duty military had the opportunity to meet with local and national veteran service organizations and their representatives. The NYFA Veterans Services team invited key partners within the community to speak with the veterans to educate them on the services they provide. Representatives from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), Vet Centers, and VA Medical Centers were all in attendance.
At our New York campus, aspiring actors, filmmakers, producers and screenwriters listened to NYFA Senior Vice President, David Klein, talk about the importance of storytelling through the medium of visual and performing arts. He spoke about how important veteran students life experiences are to our campus community.
The veteran students found the orientation highly beneficial and enjoyed networking with fellow veterans. Many of them stayed after to speak with the NYFA Veteran Coordinators and the representatives from veterans organizations who attended.
“The orientation was very informative. It was great learning about what services are available to veterans and learning just how dedicated the NYFA veteran team is in supporting veterans. The camaraderie among the veteran students made me feel more comfortable coming to school,” stated Army veteran and New BFA Acting student, Travis Frazee.
The New York Film Academy would like to welcome all new active duty military servicemembers, veterans, and their families to our campus community!
On behalf of the New York Film Academy administration, thank you for your service to our country.
-Jim Miller, Chris Paparis & Michael Kunselman