Focus Forward Fellowship

Overview2020 CohortTestimonialsSupportersLearn More

Program Overview

Image: Half military helmet, half graduation cap Text: Focus Forward FellowshipFocus Forward Fellowship is designed to help women student veterans and service members build skills, leadership and a sense of community with their peers.

Through the program, Fellows will:

  • build a community of support;
  • access corporate mentors to develop new career skills;
  • understand individual strengths and how to maximize those strengths;
  • identify strategies and resources to increase connections and success on campus;
  • gain confidence in problem solving; and
  • develop skills to help foster academic and career goals.

Applications for the 2021 cohort are closed. If you have questions, please email


Fellows are competitively selected from a national group of applicants who:

  • are U.S. military service members or veterans
  • are undergraduate students or pursuing a master’s degree; and
  • maintain a 2.5 GPA or better.

Candidates selected to participate will participate in a summer program.

Due to COVID restrictions, the 2020 Fellowship took place as a two-week virtual program. We anticipate the 2021 program will follow a similar schedule with the hopes of uniting the 2021 cohort for an in-person gathering at some point the following year.

Timeline of the virtual summer program:

  • Week One: Opening reception, most Fellowship faculty-led sessions take place during this week, first small group session and whole-cohort activity, meet your career mentor for the first time
  • Week Two: Fellowship faculty-led, follow-up sessions, small group meetings and whole-cohort activities take place, meet with your career mentor for the second time, closing reception

After completing the summer residency, Fellows will engage with their cohort in an online community during the academic year.

Supporting the Fellowship

MFRI is grateful for the support of past sponsors. If you are interested in supporting the Fellowship, please contact Alison Seiler, education and employment outreach associate. 

2020 Focus Forward Fellowship Cohort

Jennifer Arrijhi
Arizona State University
Fine Art in Painting

Jade Austin
Adler University
Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Sport & Human Performance

Laura Belko
University of Maryland
Nonprofit Management

Jessica Eagles
Chico State University
Human Resource Management

Lani Fox
University of Maryland
Air Force

Victoria Graham
University of North Carolina

Jazmin Hammett
Arizona State University
Learning Design and Technologies
Air Force

Erica Herrera
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Human Resources Management
Air Force

Charley Hubbard
Arizona State University
Social Work

Virginia Jones
Park University- Camp Pendleton
Human Resources Management
Marine Corps

Rachel Kozy
University of California- Los Angeles
Masters of Business Administration

Anna LaPella
Highline Community College

Shanna LeBlanc
Clemson University
Recreational Therapy

Ashley Lesher
Austin Peay State University
Engineering Technology

Jenifer Meller
Arizona State University
Air Force

Elizabeth Pereda
University of Southern California
Nonprofit Leadership and Management
Marine Corps

Kennia Portillo
Fordham University
Social Work
Marine Corps

Mary Swanson
University of Southern Maine
Marine Corps

Amanda Vazquez
Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
Fashion Design

What Fellows are saying

Previous Fellowship Cohorts

Focus Forward Fellowship Supporters

MFRI is grateful for the individuals and organizations who support Focus Forward Fellowship and are committed to women student veterans.

Contact Alison Seiler, education and employment outreach associate, to find out how you can support the Fellowship.

Purdue University partners, including faculty, staff and administration:

External corporations, organizations, agencies and nonprofits:

  • American Women Veterans
  • CNO Services, LLC
  • Colorado State University
  • Cummins
  • Department of Veterans Affairs - Center for Women Veterans
  • Easterseals Crossroads
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Extended DISC
  • FedEx
  • Got Your 6
  • Indianapolis Indians
  • IUPUI’s Office for Veteran and Military Personnel
  • NASPA Veterans Knowledge Community
  • National Association of Veterans' Program Administrators (NAVPA)
  • National Military Family Association
  • Pat Tillman Foundation
  • Phillips 66
  • Pope & Associates
  • Sandler Training
  • Student Veterans of America
  • Team Red, White, and Blue
  • Tragedy Assistance Programs for Survivors (Military and Veteran Caregiver Network)
  • Women in Bloom
  • West Lafayette Meijer
  • West Lafayette Walmart

Learn More

If you are interested in sharing information about Focus Forward Fellowship with women student veterans on your campus or would like to receive an email notification, please fill out the fields below.