Aggie Shields was founded in 2013 to raise money for Aggie Ring scholarships for veterans. As the organization got going, however, we found that we were only able to raise funds for one or two Aggie Rings a year and that there were other areas where student veterans needed support more urgently.
We began searching for ways to make a bigger impact, and we heard from student veterans that textbooks were a major cost that made funding their education difficult. From this, the idea to start a textbook lending library was born.
Spring 2014 was our first semester collecting textbooks, and by the fall, our library was open for business. The response from students donating their books and the student veterans using our library has been tremendous. Our library started in a few small boxes and has grown to over 800 textbooks spanning majors across Texas A&M. In the Spring 2016 semester, our library provided over $10,000 worth of textbooks to student veterans.
Aggie Shields is a service based student organization focused on alleviating the financial and social burdens of student veterans by providing academic resources and community events.
Our central purpose is to serve. We are a group focused on giving back to the Texas A&M community, especially to veterans who have given so much to all of us.
We aim to provide strong leadership at all levels of our organization by promoting the growth of strong leaders within our membership.
We seek to create strong connections within our organization, with student veterans, and the Texas A&M community at large. By establishing a strong community, we will be best able to serve our mission.
We treat everyone with highest respect and at all times we will exemplify respect by upholding a positive image of the university, its affiliates, and those it serves.
We strive to build accountability with the community by holding our members responsible for their tasks and by being committed to these values as well as those we serve.
Veterans face a variety of challenges returning to school that can make the transition from the military to the classroom difficult.
Nearly all student veterans are non-traditional aged students; the average age of admission for undergraduates is 27 and is 32 for graduate student veterans. Because of this, student veterans are typically supporting themselves, which sets them apart from traditional college students, and many are also supporting a family.
Even with benefits, seeking an education can be difficult and expensive for veterans. Between balancing school, work and home time while still making sure there is enough money to go around is stressful. We want to help relieve some of that stress by providing textbooks to student veterans and help take away at least some of the cost of going to school.