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Amanda Depew


Amanda Depew is the Southern Region - Education, Outreach, and Community Engagement Specialist for Illinois Joining Forces. Born into a Navy family, Amanda has traversed the globe from Corpus Christi, Texas to Yokosuka, Japan. Nevertheless, Southern Illinois remained home base throughout her upbringing. With both parents and grandparents having served, military life runs deep in her veins. 


In 2003, Amanda enlisted in the Air Force as a Munitions Systems Apprentice, proudly serving until 2007, including a deployment to Bagram, Afghanistan. Recognized for excellence, she earned an early promotion to E-4 and honed her skills at Langley AFB, VA. 


Post-service, Amanda faced adversity, experiencing homelessness and mental health challenges. However, with resilience and the support of her PTSD Service Dog, Conner, she regained stability. 


Transitioning to civilian life, Amanda pursued higher education at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), earning both her BSW and MSW. Her research illuminated gaps in services for veterans, motivating her to advocate for change. 


At SIUE, Amanda spearheaded the creation of the Green Zone training program, fostering understanding and support for military-connected students. Recognized as Illinois’ 2020 Student Veteran of the Year and a SIUE 2023 Phenomenal Women honoree, she's remained dedicated to serving others. 


Amanda is not new to working with the Veteran community as prior roles include working in SSVF and aiding veterans and families in Madison and St. Clair Counties. 


In her personal life, she's happily married with three sons and three grandchildren and actively involved in community initiatives to support the homeless. Military service may be her family business, but service to others is her lifelong commitment. 

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