In an effort to best serve veterans’ needs and develop solutions that help them tap their potential, the University of Maine at Presque Isle will host Serving Those Who Served: A Workshop About Helping Our Veterans and Our Communities on Friday, Sept. 21 from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Campus Center.
This all-day workshop will include breakfast, lunch, and snacks. All participants will receive a certificate documenting their contact hours earned. The registration fee is $30.00 and can be paid in advance or at the door.
“This workshop and networking opportunity is being held to help enhance the quality of life for veterans and Aroostook County,” Dr. Jacqui Lowman, event organizer, said. “It can be difficult for many of our veterans to travel hours downstate to get the services that they need. Some of our veterans need health care or social services. Some can make very tangible contributions to our communities: they have great job skills that would make them wonderful employees; they are looking to settle down, buy houses, send their children to school, pay taxes, buy local—just what the County needs. Our hope is to begin conversations and brainstorming during this workshop to help find solutions.”
The workshop will include three presentations in the morning and three in the afternoon; areas of focus will include health care, social services, and economic/community development. Workshop facilitators will delve into these topics with participants, covering the challenges veterans face in the region and working to answer the question: “How can we best serve those who have served us?”
It was asking that question that sparked the idea for the workshop in the first place. Lowman is continuously looking for new projects that her Professional Communication and Journalism (PCJ) students can complete for community partners. In conversation with organizations focused on veterans’ issues, she identified work that could be done and materials that could be created. Students in her PCJ 215: Business Communication class tackled that work during the Spring 2018 semester.
“It was a wonderful experience for us all,” Lowman recollected. “We had to wrap our heads around so many aspects: how broad the category ‘veteran’ really is, what a huge role they play in their communities, what a lack of awareness there is about their needs, how to address their needs, and the gifts that they have and can share.”
The class designed the format for the workshop. Over the summer, Lowman has worked to line up speakers. With the event nearing, she said the work now is to ensure a robust gathering of community members who want to make a difference in the lives of veterans.
“The goal is to bring folks together to start to find solutions,” she said. “There is much that the County has. There is still more that it can do to fill in the gaps. We can do this.”
Community members are strongly encouraged to attend in order to better the lives of Aroostook County’s veterans. For more information about the registration fee or the event, contact Lowman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 768-9745, or Lydia Kieffer at email@example.com or 768-9502.