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The Resource Training Center of Amherst and SERV Niagara have teamed up to offer a scholarship for veterans interested in training as alcohol and substance abuse counselors.

The Gary L. Valeri Scholarship Program is named in honor the SERV Niagara founder Jennifer D’Andrea-Terreri’s husband, who lost his long battle with addiction.

The program, offered two nights over 11 months, will qualify veterans to work with other veterans in a wide variety of settings, including clinics, hospitals, veterans facilities, halfway houses and the court system. Those interested should send a letter of interest by May 1 to SERV Niagara, 80 Park Ave., Second Floor, Lockport, NY 14094.

Applicants should answer the following questions: What are your reasons for wanting to become a counselor? What are three positive qualities/characteristics that you possess that will benefit you as a counselor? 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,” D’Andrea-Terreri said in a news release. “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.”

For more information on the scholarship program, call the Reserouce Training Center in Amherst at 983-2258 or email info@wnyresourcetraining.org. For more information on the organizations, visit wnyresourcetraining.org and SERVNiagara.org.