IVMF Success Stories - D'Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families

IVMF Success Stories

Explore dozens of real stories from program graduates on how the IVMF has supported them in achieving their goals post-service.

Most Recent IVMF Success Story

Founder & Owner Faux the Love of Legal, PLLC

The following is from O2O graduate Terra Melson:

Terra MelsonI was interested in adding cybersecurity to my law practice, and while attending the Army’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP) I learned Syracuse University’s D’Aniello Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) provides wonderful educational opportunities for veterans. Their program, Onward to Opportunity, is aimed at enhancing their marketability in the labor force and immersion in a robust community of like-minded veterans. I faced many challenges after my transition, which overlapped with my coursework at IVMF. Namely, I experienced the physical and mental ramifications related to my time in service which, at times, affected my ability to complete my coursework. My IVMF instructor was beyond compassionate and created a highly supportive environment that was conducive to these challenges. When I retired, there were not enough veterans taking advantage of programs like the IVMF.

After contacting the instructor, I enrolled in the O2O online program, where I learned about customer service excellence in the business management industry. The program also offers several pathways to obtain certifications, including AWS Cloud, Project Management Professional Certification (PMP), CompTIA, and more. These certifications not only assist in transitioning to a new career, but also provide a competitive advantage in the marketplace. If you’re unsure which path to take, the program offers a multi-phased process to help you select the best learning pathway. Upon completion of the orientation and assessments, the IVMF team will review your assessment and enroll you in the desired career track for the next available cohort. Additionally, the program offers soft skills training in areas such as resume building, mock interviews, and job hunting skills, providing all the necessary resources to take you wherever you desire.

Last year, I established my own company, Faux the Love of Legal, PLLC, which is dedicated to providing legal services with kindness, passion, and compassion. We aim to change the legal stereotype to one of conscience, empowering innovators in the vegan industry and inspiring further innovation in the vegan community. Our vision is to create a healthier, more sustainable and cruelty-free world.

The veteran population at IVMF has grown significantly, and I highly recommend it to any veteran who has aspirations of advancing their education, skills, and abilities to give back to our veteran community positively.

Career Training

Onward to Opportunity (O2O)

O2O is a career skills program that provides civilian career training, professional certifications and employment services support to transitioning service members and their spouses. Learn how veterans like Zach smoothly transition from Intelligence work to Cybersecurity.

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VPPCE participants

Veterans Program for Politics and Civic Engagement (VPPCE)

VPPCE is tailored to meet the specific needs of veterans and military-connected individuals who have an interest in pursuing careers in politics. Read a few stories from participants finding true success in the political field afterwards.

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Daniel Trtanj

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV)

EBV is a first-of-its-kind initiative that turns veterans into entrepreneurs! The EBV program leverages the skills, resources and infrastructure of higher education to offer cutting-edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans like Daniel Trtanj, founder of At Eaze Extracts.

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Dr. Cheryl Ford at Vwise

Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE)

V-WISE is a women-focused training program in entrepreneurship and small business management that provides tools, ongoing support and business mentorship to veterans, active duty service members and military spouses aspiring to become successful entrepreneurs. Read Cheryl Ford and others’ experiences with V-WISE.

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Boots to Business (B2B)

For those interested in exploring business ownership or other self-employment opportunities by leading them through the key steps for evaluating business concepts and providing foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan. Check below how B2B instructors empower military members to create opportunities and more B2B success stories.

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Alejandro Ramirez

Veteran EDGE

Veteran EDGE (Engage. Develop. Grow. Evaluate.) is a four-day conference dedicated solely to veteran and military spouse business owners and the ecosystem that supports them. Here is how EDGE empowered vets like Alejandro Ramirez to transition their military traits and values into successful businesses.

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Dewayne Kimble

Community Navigator Pilot Program

CNPP was an American Rescue Plan initiative launched by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that ran from November 2021 to November 2023. IVMF’s CNPP provided free access to a curated network of trusted experts, resources, programs, training, and one-on-one services for veteran and military-connected entrepreneurs.

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Charles Chuck Holden


R.I.S.E. is a six-week virtual, bootcamp-style program dedicated to veteran and military family business owners, focused on the pivoting of the business not only to remain sustainable, but to explore ways to expand.

Read Chuck Holden’s advice for R.I.S.E’s participants.

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