Helping our US Military Veterans build a better life!

Engenius Team

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So far Engenius Team has created 23 blog entries.

After 13 Years of Service VSF Helps Veteran Go to School

Scott graduated high school early, at 17 years old, and was not exactly sure of what he wanted to do. To give himself some time to figure it out he enrolled in the military, and it was not until 13 years later he would finally decide.

Through his transition into civilian life, Scott took advantage of local veteran programs and organizations, which is how he met Ron and was introduced to the Veteran Scholarships Forever program. This scholarship was crucial in allowing him to continue his education when his Post 9/11 GI Bill wouldn’t cover his certificate program.

Service History

Scott joined the military in 1999 and served for 13 years in many parts of the world. He started as a combat engineer in Fort Riley Kansas, then got deployed to Korea. From there he went to Fort Lewis and in 2003 was deployed to Iraq. After his first Iraq tour he changed his career path and worked as a Behavior Health Specialist, which took him to San Antonio for school and training.

Veteran Scholarship Forever Recipient on a military deployment. Scott (left) during one of his deployments.

Once he was finished, he headed […]

2017-10-25T13:58:06+00:00 October 25th, 2017|Success Stories|0 Comments

7 SC Community Colleges That Offer A Unique Scholarship to Vets

For South Carolina veterans seeking job-ready certifications and training, GI Bill funds may be inaccessible. (Stipulations require using the funds for accredited degree programs.) This is particularly tough on veterans with many financial demands—they often need a better job yesterday!

Veteran Scholarships Forever has set up scholarship funds in 7 community colleges in SC. Our mission? To give veterans the same kind of access to job training programs that the GI Bill gives to degree-seeking veterans.

Our partner colleges offer a wide range of job-specific degrees, programs, and certifications across the state. Learn more about each of these institutions and a few of the best programs available to veterans.

NEW! Midlands Technical College

In addition to degree programs, students at Midlands Tech have access to a huge range of courses, certificates, and certifications to help them get to careers quickly. From landscapers and horticulturists to phlebotomists, veterans can find a best-fit career at Midlands Tech.

Learn about financial aid and other information for veterans at Midlands Tech.

NEW! Florence-Darlington Technical College

With six different Machine Tool programs and three different Welding Tool programs, veterans have plenty of opportunities to get hands-on careers through

2017-02-28T09:22:26+00:00 February 27th, 2017|Partner Institutions|0 Comments

Happily Employed Wife, Happy Life: Veteran Spouse Receives Scholarship

Years after dropping out of college due to the expense, Kelci found herself caught in a daily struggle to be the wife and mother she wanted to be.

“My ultimate goal in life is to raise a happy family…But I was working 10+ hours a day at a child care facility caring for two-year olds—by myself. I was stressed and exhausted all the time, which resulted in feelings of guilt about not being the best wife and mother that I could be,” says Kelci.

Kelci had met her husband, Josh, online years earlier.

“While in college, my roommate signed up for a really cheesy dating website and would come home from work every evening and read me some of the hilarious, creepy, and sometimes sweet things the guys of the dating world would send her, ” she recounts.

“Of course, I had to try it for myself! I signed up, and we would read our messages to each other at the end of the day. However, one message stood out to me. I don’t know why, but it actually seemed sincere…and I can’t lie, the fact that he was so selflessly serving our country was a big deal.”

Kelci […]

2017-01-30T17:54:57+00:00 January 26th, 2017|Success Stories|0 Comments

Scholarship Funds Allow Veteran Spouse to Stop Putting Career on Hold

Early on, Veteran Scholarships Forever decided to make our funds available to veteran spouses. We are awed and grateful that these funds are having the desired impact in the lives of military couples.

Last month, we heard from Vicki, the wife of a Navy veteran who injured his spine during his enlistment. She kindly let us know how the funds, which are being put toward a Medical Billing certificate at York Technical College, have helped the couple remain financially stable throughout financing the certificate program and a major surgery.

Read Vicki’s letter below:

Dear VSF,

I was just recently awarded the Veterans Forever Scholarship. I would first like to express my sincere gratitude in being selected for this scholarship. I have already enrolled in the CBCS Medical Billing and Coding class and I am beyond excited to begin. Taking this class has been something I have wanted to do for quite some time and unfortunately have been unable to do so.

By awarding me this scholarship and allowing me to take this course, I will be able to advance in my career as a medical biller. This means so much to my husband and I, and we are so grateful a scholarship like this exists.

I had started saving […]

2017-01-30T17:54:57+00:00 November 21st, 2016|Partner Institutions, Success Stories|0 Comments

Veteran Puts VSF Scholarship Toward Healthcare Secretary Certificate

Interview with Veteran Molly Goldenstar

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When you think about containing some of the most dangerous weapons in the world today—chemical and nuclear—you may not readily imagine a woman on the front lines. Yet, that’s what Army CPL Molly Goldenstar pursued during her enlistment. Goldenstar, who served in Korea and trained to disable nuclear weapons at Aberdeen Proving Ground (MD), is wrapping up her Healthcare Unit Secretary course at Greenville Technical College. We were able to speak with her about her transition to civilian life and how VSF has impacted her future.

Why did you choose to enter the military? 

I chose to enter the military because I had graduated High School and despite what everyone had told me, I wasn’t comfortable going to college without a plan or idea of what field I wanted to be in. I’m young, I wanted to see what I was capable of and it felt right. Cliché, but that’s how it went.

What positives have you experienced during your transition back to civilian life? Negatives?

Positives: More freedom for the most part. It’s nice not having to wake up before the sun and go for a six mile run or a twelve-mile ruck […]

2017-01-30T17:54:57+00:00 October 13th, 2016|Success Stories|0 Comments

3 Essential Tips for Veterans Seeking Employment

For veterans, reentry into civilian life is a struggle. They are asked to relate to those who do not understand their experiences; create structure in their lives, filling a gap left by the military; and perhaps worst of all, many soldiers grapple with debilitating mental illnesses, unable to receive the support they so desperately need.

One of the most well known difficulties that veterans face is finding gainful employment. Some reasons for this include:

  • Despite the discipline, experience, and work ethic they gain through their service, veterans often have little to no experience finding a civilian job when they first leave the military.
  • Many veterans may have never interviewed for a civilian job or even written a resume.
  • The military does nothing to prepare vets for the job hunt that will inevitably occur when they come home.

As a result, many veterans have trouble finding and keeping jobs, and civilian employers struggle to understand them.

If you’re a veteran or know one who is seeking employment, the following tips will help guide you through the process of acquiring a job that provides a sense of pride and satisfaction.

1. Translate your skills into terms employers understand.

This is a primary reason why employers don’t hire vets […]

2017-01-30T17:54:57+00:00 September 29th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A Great-Fit Career Gives a Vet Satisfaction

Manuel Gonzalez has always had a bent toward achievement. An all-American college athlete turned Navy sailor, Manuel single-mindedly pursued a career path toward IT during his military career, even pursuing Seal training in order to get himself closer to his goal. As fate would have it, the IT track was not to be for Gonzalez, who instead became a Master at Arms and was deployed with the USS Denver in 2002.

Manuel Gonzalez serving in Italy aboard the USS Denver Manuel Gonzalez serving in Italy aboard the USS Denver

Even though Manuel did not enter the IT field, Navy life provided many opportunities to set and achieve goals.

“I always felt I could excel, “ he says. “I felt confident I would have advanced had I stayed in the Navy.”

The job security provided by the military is difficult to find in the civilian world.

The job security provided by the military is difficult to find in the civilian world. Manuel reflects that some of his energy, which was easy to direct while in the military, lost focus upon his return to civilian life in 2005.

“I went through a lot of jobs. I even went back to school […]

2017-01-30T17:54:57+00:00 August 24th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Graham Foundation Helps VSF Meet Veteran Needs

Every month, we usually bring you a story about a scholarship recipient and the effect that support has had on their life. However, we wouldn’t be able to provide these scholarships if it wasn’t for the generosity of our donors. The people who give to our organization make everything we do possible, making our dreams — to help veterans not only transition back to civilian life, but thrive — a reality.

In 2015, we reached out to the Graham foundation for a grant that would fund a number of scholarships through Greenville Tech. They responded in kind, providing $20,000 in September of 2015. Steve Lambert, a trustee of the foundation, talked to us about why they chose to provide this grant.

Sam and Steve Sam Lambert (left) and Steve Lambert (right)

“We look first of all to see if an organization is meeting a critical need. We have a particular interest in supporting veterans… they are a group of people that we particularly value and whose wellbeing we particularly care about.”

Steve may be a little biased. His son, Sam, is a veteran sapper from the US army, rank E5. He cares deeply about […]

2017-01-30T17:54:57+00:00 July 27th, 2016|News, Partner Institutions|0 Comments

VSF Funds Impact a Veteran Spouse

“Even if you have an interest and some experience, you have more options when you have an education.”

In their late twenties, Tracy and his wife decided to pursue a career change. Tracy had fond memories of his younger years as an Air Force brat, so together, he and his wife decided to apply. Mrs. Buchanan was accepted, but due to his hearing, Tracy could not enlist. Thus began his life as a military spouse.

The Buchanans’ first assignment was at an Air Force Base in England. From there, they transferred to Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, where Tracy’s wife received a commissioning and enrolled in Officer Training School.

The couple continued to travel around the US, an enjoyable experience for Tracy, who worked in a number of different jobs in the communications industry.

“In 2015, my wife retired, and we relocated from DC to Boiling Springs to be near family and to enjoy the area,” said Tracy.

Tracy decided that the move and his wife’s retirement would give him a chance to pursue a career in Real Estate, a field he’d been interested in for some time. While some agencies trained new agents, Tracy decided the best way to go would be […]

2016-06-20T14:53:02+00:00 June 20th, 2016|Success Stories|0 Comments