VSF Director Ron Demonet reflects on a great launch year and anticipates a very good new year.
Thank you, VSF supporters!
Give education and employment opportunities to US Military Veterans!
Another $1,295 in tuition fees just wasn’t feasible for Clinedinst. He was already a full-time student who had exhausted as many scholarship avenues as he could find to obtain his Associate’s Degree from Tri-County Technical College while helping to support his family. In addition, he was saving and planning so that, with financial help from the GI Bill and FAFSA, he could attend Anderson University’s nursing program.
When he found Ron Demonet’s card while rummaging through his book bag, Clinedinst realized he may have the answer in his hands. He remembered meeting Ron at a Get Connected event at Tri-County Anderson’s campus the year prior. Rob remembered that Demonet had been working on a scholarship fund to cover certificate programs, so he gave him a call. The resulting conversation put Clinedinst back on course to pursue his Emergency Medical Training (EMT) certification.
In spite of historical—and even recent—moves to address veteran unemployment, it is still an enormous concern, particularly in men aged 18 to 25, for whom the unemployment rate is 8.5 percent higher than the unemployment rate for civilians of that age group. One of the main culprits for this disparity is lack of preparation. While an improved Transition Assistance Program has offered some relief for enlisted individuals seeking to make plans for civilian life, it lacks power when no peers, or, particularly, superiors are talking about the need for careful preparation.
Last spring, the Technical College of the Lowcountry (TCL) began considering a partnership with us. Thankfully, President Richard J. Gough of TCL, located in Beaufort, SC, had already been looking for ways to connect with the active duty military and veterans just minutes from his doors.
In an official announcement about the partnership, President Gough explains, “[Our] workforce development programs provide vocational and trade training and propel graduates into jobs, sometimes in as little as five weeks. Unfortunately, South Carolina and federal educational aid programs do not cover the cost of these programs, nor does the GI Bill.”
The decision to create a fund for veterans and veteran spouses in need met TCL Leadership’s desire to do more faster for veterans during their time-sensitive transitions into civilian living.
“At TCL, we estimate that up to 5 veterans a month are unable to enter their program of choice due to financial barriers,” says President Gough, “With your help, the Veterans Scholarship Forever Fund aims to help our service men and women who have volunteered themselves and their families in […]
While browsing through the 2014 quarter four issue of Business Black Box, a South Carolina Upstate Business Magazine, you may have seen a familiar face. A full-page photo of Ron Demonet, Founder of Veteran Scholarships Forever (VSF), introduced an article labeling him a “Trailblazer.”
The term couldn’t be more fitting. A veteran himself, Demonet started VSF after recognizing the difficulty veterans often have translating their military skills into business skills.
Fittingly, VSF’s article appeared alongside the issue’s feature on Lee Vining, a 10 year Army veteran. Vining struggled to find a civilian job after serving two deployments in Iraq and then battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which ultimately ended his military career.
“It’s really depressing to go from flying Blackhawks and being responsible for a million dollars in equipment to not even getting hired at Wal-Mart,” Vining says in the article. “I never got a single interview.”
It is stories like these that are at the heart of VSF’s mission. With Demonet at the helm, VSF is working to establish endowed scholarships at state community and technical colleges—that are then implemented by the institutions—to provide training to veterans and their spouses, so they can enter the job market successfully.
As stated in the article, Ron says, “The great thing about endowed scholarships is that once they’re set up, they’re always available. No […]
“There is a lot of unskilled labor out there, and there are college graduates. But in the middle, there is the technical group—those who really get things done. That is where we’re hurting right now in America. It’s a niche that our veterans can easily help fill with a little bit of training.”
These are the words of Ron Demonet, Founder of Veteran Scholarships Forever (VSF), during an interview on episode 92 of Deb Sofield’s weekly radio show “Encouragement for Your Life.”
In his interview with Deb, Ron explains that in the military, all your needs are taken care of—housing, food, and training. But when veterans reenter civilian life, they have to do it all on their own. Based on a recent survey, the number one challenge for most veterans is finding a job. Many struggle to translate their military experience into a skill set for the private sector.
“In the military they teach you to be a team, so it’s thinking about ‘we’ as opposed to ‘I.’ They have to shift gears when they come out of the service; they have to present themselves and what they can bring to the table for an employer, and they have a hard time doing that,” Ron explains.
As a result, the unemployment rate for Post-9/11 veterans […]