The first volume of the 19th edition of “Well Since You Asked,” entitled “Arizona,” created by a student to preserve the history of an American veteran as part of the Veteran Heritage Project. (Photo courtesy of the Veteran Heritage Project)

Opportunity available for students write to about veterans for Library of Congress book

The “Veterans Heritage Project,” in collaboration with Mesa Community College, has begun the search for students to document the sacrificial past of America’s veterans into the Library of Congress.

The project is an Arizona based non-profit that connects veterans with high school and college students across the country, and is accepting applicants until Oct. 6 who want to interview veterans and learn about their military service journey.

According to statistics provided by the Veteran Heritage Project, 20% of interviewed veterans shared their story for the first time.

For MCC students, the program offers the opportunity to preserve the history of a veteran, while also learning journalistic skills and earning college credit. 

Students also become published authors at the end of their storytelling experience, with each veteran’s journey published in the book “Since You Asked,” which recently released its 19th edition, and has been continually entered in the Library of Congress.

Student authors receive a free copy of the book if they successfully publish a veterans story.

“Participants will use many skills such as interviewing, journalism, storytelling, digital media, and cultural awareness,” said Emma Thadani of MCC’s center for community and civic engagement, which helped establish the project in Mesa.

MCC’s local chapter of the “Veterans Heritage Project” has published two stories written by MCC student Johnny Amos, who in 2023 published individual stories about Avery Xola of the U.S Air Force and Charles Ford of the U.S.  Navy.

Thadani added that “past participants have shared that the ‘Veterans Heritage Project’ is a transformative experience that has allowed them [students] to connect and find similarities with their veterans, despite having very different life experiences.”

Students interested in the project can attend an info session on Tuesday via Zoom. For more information, contact MCC specialists Charlotte Fornasiero (charlotte.fornasiero@mesacc.edu), or Emma Thadani (emma.thadani@mesacc.edu)

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