The Institute for Veterans and Military Families would like to highlight alum, Lovay Wallace-Singleton, for her work as Executive Director of Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden (VEBCOG) in North Carolina.
Wallace-Singleton is a 20-year air traffic controller Navy veteran. As a disabled veteran, suffering from bilateral carpal tunnel, she used gardening as an outlet for strengthening her muscles after surgery. This led her to starting the Organic Garden to help homeless and disabled veterans find work after separating from the military.
“Practitioners have found that working with soil, flowers and plants out in the fresh air can give people a sense of renewed purpose and direction, and propel them on their road to recovery,” Wallace-Singleton said.
The VEBCOG gives veterans access to rehabilitation through the use of Horticulture Therapy, a practice that uses gardening activities for healing.
“Horticultural therapy is a way to improve a person’s psychological well-being, whether they’re suffering from depression or recovering from a life-changing physical injury,” Wallace-Singleton said.
The program was awarded a $100,000 grant in 2014 under the 2501 Program in support of their job readiness program launching this year.
Wallace-Singleton is a three time alum of IVMF in the Operation Boots to Business, V-WISE and the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) programs.
“EBV was my first program and assisted me with deciding on the type of business I wanted and the importance of the business and strategic plan. With V-WISE I was able to learn to value my own worth as a female veteran,” Wallace-Singleton said. “Boots to Business gave me the additional support I needed because I had just launched my business.”
For more information on IVMF programs please visit vets.syr.edu.
“I try to recommend the programs to as many veterans as I can because I can truly see and reflect the benefit they provided me,” she said.
To learn more about Lovay Wallace-Singleton and VEBCOG, please visit their website at http://www.veteransorganicgarden.com/.