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October 2023 Featured Campus: University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

6 UM PAVE team members standing in front of a block M

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor is our Featured Campus for October! “The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor PAVE team has started the Fall 2023 semester with a huge amount of energy and drive to support military-connected students on campus. They have held several events already, including fun events like an arcade game night, and informational events like a financial literacy workshop. The team has shown creativity and dedication in engaging with student veterans about mental health and other important areas of campus life,” says Emma Czajka, PAVE Program Coordinator.

Team Leader Jordan Hester works with Veteran Services Coordinator Phil Larson and four Peer Advisors to serve U-M – Ann Arbor’s first-semester student veterans in a community of over 1,000 military-connected students.

The PAVE team at U-M – Ann Arbor knows the importance of community. “Everybody knows they’ve got this spot where everyone has some experiences that are very similar to me. And there’s a built-in support network there, really giving people the tools like, ‘Hey, if you wanna be here every day, be here every day’. Or if you decide it’s not right for you right now, well, we’re still here, and you’re still gonna hear from us because you might decide PAVE is what you need,” says Jordan Hester.

Some of the challenges that the U-M – Ann Arbor PAVE team continues to face are the difficulties of students not responding to outreach, as well as navigating the realities of being a student, a veteran, a Peer Advisor or Team Leader, and wearing all of the other hats they are expected to wear daily; however, the team has faced these challenges head-on. Phil Larson proudly shared the story of one Peer Advisor who, throughout her time on the team, found her voice, as PAVE has given her the space and opportunity for meaningful personal growth.

PAVE at U-M – Ann Arbor has shown incredible dedication to creating community on campus. “We help connect other veterans to veterans on our campus. So it’s not just us connecting with people, but we’re helping in that connectivity between other people as well,” says Phil Larson. 

Keep up the good work supporting your student veterans, U-M – Ann Arbor!