The Veterans Directory allows those who have served to get the guidance they deserve.
Chief Operating Officer of The Veterans Directory Joanna Sweatt has an organization that is near to her heart. As a fellow veteran, she is familiar with acclimating to civilian life.
Joanna began her work at ASU Tillman Center in 2012 and worked with student veteran affairs. This was her first civilian job, which put her in an environment that allowed her to relate to others in her same position and assist them with feeling at ease back at home. She says the spirit of Tillman is “magical” and made it possible to find purpose and meaning again.
What is The Veterans Directory?
The Veterans Directory puts the messages that veterans receive from the community into action. We also shape messages and programming for the extended community as it relates to the veteran community.
How do you go about accomplishing such a large and important task?
Through partnerships, The Veterans Directory works to put on programs and awareness campaigns that help move the veteran population forward in their new civilian lives. We connect them to viable resources that can include workforce development, curriculum access, entrepreneurial tools, networking and education. We also work to give a voice to the women veteran community through some specific outreach programs that we have worked to put together.
Why do you feel your work is special?
We do this work because our organization was started by veterans who understand that in order to thrive, we must welcome veterans back to the community and offer them an opportunity to continue to serve outside of just saying, “thank you for your service.” We discuss each individual’s goals and how they can achieve them with our help. We motivate them and provide the tools they need to succeed.
Discuss some goals The Veteran’s Directory has accomplished.
Some of The Veterans Directory accomplishments include setting up a housing program with Christopher Todd Communities entitled “A New Lease on Life.” We also participated in the Women Veterans Event 2017: Designing Your Transformation. We coordinated the Veteran Career Conference 2018 in partnership with the Rattlers and Rayhons Financial.
Can you discuss a personal story that ties all your hard work and efforts together?
I had my daughter at 18, which is what led me to the Marine Corps. She is now graduating college from ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business with a degree in Computer Information Science. She is a four-year MCSF Scholarship recipient.
“Every veteran should get treated with respect; that’s my goal. It’s our job to make the world better, and that’s what I’m trying to do."