Michelle Robertson understands the challenges veterans face when returning to the civilian workforce.
The recent Bellevue University graduate was a weather forecaster for the US Air Force. The mother of five de ella raised her family de ella and then decided to pursue a degree at BU, where she found her calling helping fellow veterans.
Robertson was named one of 33 student veterans who make a positive difference at their school and in their communities by GI Jobs magazine. She’s been a student-worker at BU’s Military Veteran Services Center, which helps veterans in the community receive services and support.
“There’s so many veterans out there that don’t know that they can come in and get help with their service-connected disabilities,” Robertson said in an interview. “We can help them job services. We help them with resumes, questions about the GI Bill, and other educational options for veterans.”
Robertson received the 2022 GI Jobs Student Veteran Leadership Award for her work at the center, including being the first contact for incoming veterans seeking assistance and helping set up appointments, filling out paperwork and connecting vets with resources.
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“Michelle is truly a force to be reckoned with,” center manager Heather Carroll said in a news release. “Not only is she a veteran, she’s a mom of five boys, including a set of twins, and served as primary parent while her husband traveled for his work from him.”
The center provides advocacy for veterans navigating service-connected disability claims, provides access to counseling and has a program called Guitars 4 Vets that helps people with post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.
Robertson said she helped update some of the centers processes and volunteered in the community to build awareness of the center’s offerings. She participated in the center’s annual Veterans Day project that provides backpacks to homeless veterans.
“This last time, we were actually able to interact with them and serve them their steak dinner that was donated,” Robertson said. “Guitars for Vets played a concert for them while they were eating.”
While she was in the Air Force, Robertson worked as a forecaster at Offutt Air Force Base as part of an office that provided weather products for special operations groups all over the world. When special ops teams planned a mission, her team would provide forecasts for the region to help identify weather — such as sandstorms in the Middle East — that could pose a challenge during the operation.
Robertson left the service in 2004. Carroll said she worked at the center throughout her collegiate career and maintained a 3.71 grade-point average, the equivalent of a high “A” mark overall.
“(She) assisted countless local veterans by scheduling appointments, providing tours and guiding them toward available (Disabled American Veterans) and nonprofit resources,” Carroll said.
Robertson received a Bachelor of Science in Management of Human Resources degree at Bellevue University’s spring commencement ceremony June 4. Her recognition in GI Jobs magazine will be published in August, according to a news release.
For her part, Robertson is hoping to secure full-time employment, hopefully continuing her work serving veterans in the Bellevue-Offutt community.