PRESS RELEASE: Danica Gonzalves Receives Equal Justice Works Fellowship
- The Veterans Consortium
For Immediate Release
The Veterans Consortium Announces Equal Justice Works Fellowship
Sponsored by AT&T and Akin Gump
Danica Gonzalves, Esq. joins The Veterans Consortium team as
September 13, 2017
Washington, D.C. — The Veterans Consortium (TVC) is pleased to announce that Danica Gonzalves, Esq. has received a two-year Equal Justice Works Fellowship (2017-2019), sponsored by AT&T and law firm Akin Gump, to build out The Veterans Consortium Discharge Upgrade Program with the assistance of pro bono attorneys from the sponsoring organizations.
Through her Equal Justice Works Fellowship, Ms. Gonzalves strives to provide representation to underserved veterans in discharge upgrade applications. She will offer nationwide specialized trainings for attorneys, conduct outreach to build awareness of TVC’s Discharge Upgrade Program and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) among the veteran community, while connecting pro bono attorneys with veterans in need.
Ms. Gonzalves noted, “I would like to thank AT&T and Akin Gump for the opportunity to build out the Discharge Upgrade Program at The Veterans Consortium. I am excited to work with both companies to support our veterans by providing invaluable legal representation for discharge upgrade applications.”
“AT&T is a committed supporter of our nation’s veterans, planning to hire 20,000 by 2020,” said David McAtee, AT&T's Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel. “The Veterans Consortium is one more way we can help those who served to productively re-acclimate into civilian life. Our lawyers are eager to lend their time and expertise to support Danica's efforts.”
Steven H. Schulman, Pro Bono Partner at Akin Gump, added, “When Danica shared with us the stories of veterans who have been denied health and other benefits due to service-related trauma, we knew that we wanted to help in any way we could. Sponsoring Danica’s fellowship is only our first investment; we look forward to working with The Veterans Consortium to advocate for these brave Americans.”
An Other Than Honorable discharge characterization deprives veterans of VA benefits including physical and mental health treatment, limits their job prospects, and destroys self-esteem. Ms. Gonzalves, emphasized, “I am thrilled to work with The Veterans Consortium to build out the Discharge Upgrade Program. Veterans with service-related PTSD and traumatic brain injury should not be punished for their symptoms. Through TVC’s Discharge Upgrade Program, we intend to combat the stigma of invisible illness, provide an essential service to those seeking a discharge upgrade, and restore honor to our nation’s defenders.”
PTSD and TBI resulting from military service should not preclude veterans from receiving the benefits and respect they deserve. TVC began building a program in early 2016 to meet this growing need in the veteran community. Pro bono attorneys will aid with the discharge upgrade applications to secure benefits eligibility for the veterans and restore dignity to our nation’s warriors. With help from TVC’s national volunteer corps of over 2,500 attorneys, TVC is well positioned to support this new initiative, sponsored by AT&T and Akin Gump and our new Equal Justice Works Fellowship, serving U.S. veterans living anywhere in the world.
The Veterans Consortium (TVC) Discharge Upgrade Program provides nationwide pro bono legal representation to veterans with Other Than Honorable discharges. TVC is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) serving the global U.S. veteran community and celebrating 25 years of pro bono legal service to U.S. veterans and their families, caregivers, and survivors. For more information, visit our website, www.vetsprobono.org or contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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