November 2020 Peer Advisor of the Month: Barbara Karabanowska, Lewis University

Photo of Barbara KarabanowskaFrom Anthony Valadez, Team Leader: “Of all my brand new Peer Advisors, Barbara has demonstrated the most initiative and has even taken the liberty to identify additional veterans who may not be freshman or new to the university, but expressed interest in having an advisor. Barbara has gone above and beyond the expectations that I had set for the PAs and she sets the bar for the other PAs on the team.”

From Barbara Karabanowska: “Being a veteran myself, I take the job of a Peer Advisor very seriously. I have been in their shoes before and I know going back to college can be stressful. It is a difficult transition for everyone and not knowing what to expect makes it even worse. Being able to make a connection to another veteran at the beginning of their new challenge allows me to make their transition go smoother. I am able to explain every step of the process to ease their mind. As Peer Advisors, we do not only help with school related issues, we also provide beneficial information about outside veteran resources. Many new veterans are not aware of these resources and they appreciate all the help. Helping people in need comes naturally to me, especially when I know I have all the resources needed to make them feel safe. People often do not like asking for help when they need it the most, but as a Peer Advisor I can reach out myself and help make someone’s life easier. Most new veterans do not realize the amount of programs they can take advantage of and I take it as my responsibility to provide this information. By helping a student, we might not be helping just one person, but their whole family.”