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President of UC San Diego’s Student Veteran Organization Seeks to Enrich Lives of Fellow Vets

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Spring Keyzers-Flanagan. Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

Spring Keyzers-Flanagan, president of UC San Diego’s Student Veteran Organization (SVO), has many goals for the organization, but her main priority is helping her fellow student veterans.

“I want to provide them with the resources and connections so they will be able to smoothly transition into a career upon graduation,” she said. Keyzers-Flanagan has helped student veterans network by organizing events such as a “hack-a-thon,” which was co-sponsored by Amazon.com, and a networking night that included employers such as Northrop Grumman and International Business Machines (IBM).

Born and raised in Shelton, a small town in Washington State, Keyzers-Flanagan joined the Marines at age 18 so she could travel the world. Soon after, she became a Marine security guard, protecting U.S. Embassies around the globe. The senior attended college on a part-time basis until she enrolled in UC San Diego two years ago. An international studies-sociology major, Keyzers-Flanagan is also earning a minor in international migration studies. She plans to work for the U.S. State Department after graduation.

Like other student veterans, Keyzers-Flanagan, 30, is older than a typical undergraduate and has more life experience. “The average student veteran at UC San Diego is 25, so it is great to have our own space at the Student Veteran Resource Center. It’s a place where we get to hang out and have a home away from home,” she said.

Keyzers-Flanagan said she hopes to grow the organization by increasing both the number of members and the organization’s presence at UC San Diego. “We want people to know the SVO is a resource on this campus,” she said. “And we are open to everyone; you don’t have to be a veteran to be a part of the organization. We encourage non-veteran advocates to get involved as well.”

Service has always been a strong tradition of UC San Diego’s Student Veteran Organization and it is one that Keyzers-Flanagan is proudly upholding. She and other members of the organization are currently running a donation drive for Toys for Tots, and they volunteer at various campus events such as Triton Transfer Day. This year, they will be participating in community service projects with Habitat for Humanity and serving food to homeless veterans of San Diego.

The organization was also a key campus partner in the third annual Military Pathway to UC San Diego conference—an event for prospective military-affiliated students that took place on Oct. 22.

In addition, Keyzers-Flanagan is working on fundraising for the SVO, so the organization can continue to expand. She recently developed a grant proposal to Student Veterans of America to be able to host additional hack-a-thons, perform more service projects and continue supporting the student veteran population of UC San Diego.

“Fundraising is the key to get our population growing and to host more events,” she said. “It will also help with infrastructure and continuity for the organization because I want it to be in good hands after I graduate.”

To learn more about UC San Diego’s Student Veteran Organization, and the Student Veteran Resource Center, please click here.