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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+00:00July 27th, 2016|News, Partner Institutions|0 Comments

Fighting the Trend of Increased Student Debt Among US Veterans

Student debt is increasing amongst all Americans¹, but on average, a veteran will take on more debt than a civilian student²—in spite of generous GI Bill benefits.

Venus_Flytrap Veterans may get trapped with more student loan debt than the average American.

The primary contributors to veteran student loan debt are the same federal student loans that the average undergraduate takes out. In spite of GI Bill contributions, many vets either have to or choose to take out additional loans to pay for education-related fees or to put toward personal finances while in school. GI Bill benefits do not currently cover:

  • Out-of-state tuition at public universities.
  • Tuition fees at for-profit universities greater than $18,077.50 per year.
  • Unaccredited programs such as those found in vocational and technical colleges.

Is Federal Loan Debt Really All That Bad?

Federal loans come with low interest rates, which means debt in this category is typically more manageable. Plus, veterans now do not have to devote more than 10% of their income to debt repayment.³ While this may seem non-threatening at first glance, these policies may lead veterans to take on more debt than they otherwise would.

And, as you […]

2017-01-30T17:54:57+00:00February 18th, 2016|News|0 Comments

Announcing a New Partner College!

New VSF Fund Established at Technical College of the Lowcountry

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.

tcl logo

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 […]

2017-01-30T17:54:58+00:00August 11th, 2015|News, Partner Institutions|0 Comments

VSF: The “Trailblazer” for Veterans

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 […]

2017-01-30T17:54:58+00:00January 28th, 2015|News|0 Comments

National Radio Coverage for VSF

“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 […]

2017-01-30T17:54:58+00:00January 23rd, 2015|News|0 Comments

#GivingTuesday

Time For Action

 

Black Friday.

Cyber Monday.

Giving Tuesday.

You’ve survived Thanksgiving, put a dent in your Christmas shopping list, and now it’s time to give back.

December 2nd is Giving Tuesday across the nation, and Veteran Scholarships Forever is honored to be a part of this amazing day of generosity. Every dime donated to VSF goes toward helping Veterans get the vocational education they need to find a great job and start enjoying this country they so selflessly served.

You can make a huge difference by getting involved. Giving is easy – click here to visit our donate page.

Thank you for supporting our veterans – we salute you!

2017-01-30T17:54:58+00:00December 2nd, 2014|News|0 Comments

Join us for lunch with John Warren, former Captain, US Marine Corps

“A Case Study in Modern Warfare: Fighting a Sunni Insurgency and the Tactics Needed to Defeat ISIS”

$5 per person in attendance will be donated to Veteran Scholarships Forever.

Commerce Club
Monday, November 3rd at 12pm 
$22 per person (all inclusive)

John Warren took 9/11 personally, and upon graduation from Washington & Lee, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He was offered pilot training but declined and instead volunteered for the infantry, serving four years on active duty in the infantry and attaining the rank of Captain. He was in combat with the 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines and entered Ramadi, Iraq in 2006 after al-Qaeda declared the city a “graveyard of Marines.”  He was decorated for heroism in combat and now speaks regularly on counter-insurgency and leadership. Currently, John is founder and president of Lima One Capital, a lending company for residential real estate investors and home builders.
2017-01-30T17:54:58+00:00October 24th, 2014|News|0 Comments

Retired Navy SEAL sniper: lecture and lunch at the Commerce Club

On Wednesday, September 17th at noon, you’re invited to join us for lunch at the Commerce Club in Greenville, SC, to hear from Chief Petty Officer Thom Shea as he talks about his new book, Unbreakable: A Navy SEAL’s Way of Life, which has recently been in the top 25 of Amazon.com Best Sellers in both the military and the motivation categories.

Chief Shea did three tours of dutyUnbreakable with SEAL Team Two in Kosovo, Macedonia, and the Gulf, as well as two tours with SEAL Team Seven in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his deployment to Afghanistan while leading a SEAL team in 2009, he earned the Silver Star (our nation’s third highest award for valor in combat), the Bronze Star with Valor, Army Commendation with Valor and his second Combat Action medal.

For each person in attendance, the Commerce Club will donate $5 to Veteran Scholarships Forever.

Contact the Commerce Club at 864.232.5600 to RSVP. The cost is $22 per person, all inclusive.

 

2017-01-30T17:54:58+00:00September 9th, 2014|News|0 Comments

Commerce Club to host benefit event

On Tuesday, August 19th at noon, you’re invited to join us for lunch at the Commerce Club in Greenville, SC, to hear from LTC Steve Shivers, USMC (Ret), a Marine platoon sergeant who later received a battlefield commission in Vietnam. “A Marine’s Story of Two Tours in Vietnam” is part of a lunch and lecture series honoring those who have served our country.

For each person in attendance, the Commerce Club will donate $5 to Veteran Scholarships Forever.

Contact the Commerce Club at 864.232.5600 to RSVP. The cost is $22 per person, all inclusive.

2017-01-30T17:54:58+00:00August 7th, 2014|News|0 Comments