After receiving multiple nominations from those in the Rapids community, local soccer fan and Bodhi Battalion Director of Operations JoAnna McTevia has been selected as the 科罗拉多州 Rapids 大发体育 WORKS / Wells Fargo 社区 MVP.

McTevia, who founded the non-profit Bodhi Battalion, has family members on both sides who have fought for our country over the years. As a trauma specialist and social worker, McTevia saw the gap in care for veterans. In 2015, she addressed it directly by creating PTSD Redefined, a re-envisioned way to help veterans by providing them with service dogs.

“I still continue to do mental health and trauma work, and I always had a dog involved,” she said. “When that dog passed, I started to realize what a big impact he had on my veteran clients and the doors he opened for a safe space, and a lot of healing that isn’t possible with just humans.”

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McTevia went back to school to learn how to work with service animals and best serve others through them. When she was able to finally incorporate service dogs into Bodhi Battalion’s existing work through PTSD Redefined, McTevia could see the impact the animals were having on veterans in the Denver area. 

“And so whether it's taking someone to the [Veterans Affairs Office] or out to buy groceries because they don't feel comfortable being in the community, or even just regular types of therapy, having them understand their service dogs, it's really working towards building a community of support and I think that's the most important part,” McTevia said. “It is so needed, and still kind of this hidden thing with an abundance of [benefits].”

The Best Boy

In addition to serving the veteran community in Denver, McTevia has long enjoyed attending Rapids games with her daughter, who played soccer for most of her childhood.

“Soccer was really what connected us,” she said. “We would go to the games, and that would really be her sanity. It was just really connecting and very centering for both of us to spend that time together. It's a family connection with her, and reminiscing on going to Rapids games as she was growing up.”

You can check out McTevia’s ongoing work with Bodhi Battalion and PTSD Redefined 在这里.

You can learn more about McTevia and the 26 other 社区 MVPs and their beneficiary organizations 在这里.