307th FSS Long Ranger earns delegate spot at national conference

  • Published
  • By Gabrielle Terrett
  • 307th Bomb Wing

Senior Airman Ivett Palacios-Mendoza, assigned to the 307th Force Support Squadron, earned a delegate spot at the Student Veterans of America 16th Annual National Conference (SVA NatCon) held Jan. 4-6, 2024 in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Palacios-Mendoza’s volunteerism efforts, both on and off duty, played a significant role in her selection.

“I work as a Spanish tutor for the Student Support Services for Veterans at my university, the University of Louisiana- Lafayette,” said Palacios-Mendoza. “My supervisor decided to give me the opportunity to go to Nashville, and I’m getting to know more about these programs because I do volunteer work and tutoring at the same time, and it’s been a really nice experience so far.”

During her time at the conference, she networked with other members of SVA and learned from various speakers, including retired U.S. Air Force Col. Merryl “Dragon Lady” Tengesdal, the first black woman to fly a Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft.

“I admire people that continue working even after they already achieve things,” said Palacios-Mendoza of Tengesdal. “Her military career is impressive, and I would like to have many milestones like she did.”

As a current student and military service member, Palacios-Mendoza acknowledges that the road to success is not and will never be easy. However, she has employed skills learned in the Air Force Reserve to work toward becoming a Criminal Analyst and eventually a member of an Air Force Security Forces squadron.

“Sometimes being in the Reserves and having a civilian job is all about time management and giving the military the attention that it needs, along with school,” said Palacios-Mendoza. “I enjoy my job, and the military has given me a lot of time management skills.”

Pairing her prior knowledge with what she gained at the 2024 SVA NatCon, Palacios-Mendoza said she feels prepared to fulfill and transcend her dreams efficiently.

“I want to be better in my military and civilian careers,” she said. “I am continuing to work for Student Support Services while also trying to get promoted and get my CCAF (Community College of the Air Force Degree) and see if I can achieve more things in my military career.”

To learn more about SVA, visit their website at studentveterans.org