Patrick YPI Reflection

For my YPI social issue, My group and I chose unemployed veterans. We chose this issue because it is a root cause of numerous other issues, such as suicide, crime, homelessness, addiction, and mental illness. For our nonprofit organization we chose I.A.V.A., which stands for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

One thing in particular which affected my views on unemployment of veterans was the Wall of Why at the I.A.V.A. Headquarters. This was a wall covered in messages and pictures to remind the people who work there what it is that they are fighting for. At first, I thought of unemployed veterans as just a subset of unemployed people who sometimes had slight disadvantages due to injuries. But as I researched the issue more and more I found that they were severely disadvantaged and often had no means of making up for this. I found that this was a serious issue that had yet to be addressed on a large scale.

The most challenging part of this project was actually finding  a nonprofit to work with. The first nonprofit we looked at was not actually able to operate due to financial reasons, and others we looked at were not as focused on the New York community. I.A.V.A. Started in New York, and uses it as the testing ground for its programs. The most rewarding part of the experience was during our site visit. We interviewed an employee of the organization who had himself  gone through its programs. This inspired me to try to win The grant far more than before.

In the course of this project I learned numerous skills in presentation and research.  I learned effective presentation skills and researching my organization.

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