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Wednesday, April 16, 2014
S.E.R.V. Niagara has teamed up with the Resource Training Center of Amherst to offer a unique scholarship for veterans of the United States armed forces.

Through the Gary L. Valeri Scholarship Program, veterans will be trained to work as Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselors (CASAC). The scholarship is named after the former husband of S.E.R.V. Niagara’s Founder, who lost his long battle with addiction.

The training program, offered two nights per week over an 11-month period, will qualify veterans to work with other veterans in a wide variety of settings such as clinics, hospitals, veterans facilities, halfway houses and the court system.

Veterans interested in the scholarship program are asked to send a letter of interest to S.E.R.V. Niagara, 80 Park Ave., 2nd Floor, Lockport, N.Y. 14094, by May 1. Within that letter, applicants should answer three questions:

  1. What are your reasons for wanting to become a counselor?
  2. What are three positive qualities/characteristics that you possess that will benefit you as a counselor?
  3. What do you see yourself doing once you have completed the program? 
Veterans of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

“There are not enough veterans in these types of counseling roles,” according to Jennifer D’Andrea-Terreri, founder of S.E.R.V Niagara. “Veterans in treatment have a greater chance of successful recovery when receiving therapy and treatment from another veteran. This is especially so when dealing with combat veterans. War and other related events are main causes of post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse, so it only makes sense for our veterans to receive help from other veterans who can better relate to their issues.”

The mission of S.E.R.V. Niagara is to promote healing and support and encourage every human being to reach their full potential while helping to restore hope and respect in our youth, families and communities. The organization’s long-term goal is to provide permanent housing and support to veterans and their families.

“There is a strong need for professionally trained counselors in today's society,” said Monica Farrar, director of The Resource Training Center. “There will always be a need for counselors as a growing number of people struggle with addiction.”

For more information on the scholarship program, please call The Resource Training Center at 983-2258 or email

The Resource Training Center is conveniently located in the Harlem Road Community Center at 4255 Harlem Road, Amherst. For more information regarding their services, please visit

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