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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 […]

2017-10-25T13:58:06-04:00October 25th, 2017|Success Stories|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 […]

2017-01-30T17:54:57-05:00January 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 […]

2017-01-30T17:54:57-05:00November 21st, 2016|Partner Institutions, Success Stories|0 Comments

Veteran Puts VSF Scholarship Toward Healthcare Secretary Certificate

Interview with Veteran Molly Goldenstar


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 […]

2017-01-30T17:54:57-05:00October 13th, 2016|Success Stories|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 […]

2016-06-20T14:53:02-04:00June 20th, 2016|Success Stories|0 Comments

A Veteran Decided to Change Course. VSF was There to Help.

A Texas native, Chris Heinen followed in his parents’ footsteps and entered the military, the Army Infantry, in 1987 at the age of 19. After a back injury rendered him unable to continue to serve, Chris returned to civilian life. He used his skills-based high school education to quickly find work in the construction industry. After nearly twenty years in the field, however, job instability was wearing on Chris.

“In 2008 when the economy went bad, I was laid off from a few consecutive roles. But even before that, the lack of regulation in the construction industry really wore me down,” said Chris.

Chris began considering a career change that year, but it would be a few years before he found an opportunity that felt right. Through SC Works, Chris met Greenville Technical College employment coordinator, Steve Hand, who invited him to an on-campus open house and informed him that there was funding available for veterans.

His $2,000 course fully paid for by the Veteran Scholarship Forever fund, Chris was able to enter a Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) Operator certification course, the first step in a series of certifications that will allow him to work as […]

2017-01-30T17:54:57-05:00May 19th, 2016|Success Stories|0 Comments

ECG Certification Gained with the Help of VSF

VSF Ashlee StoryAshlee Wedge, a veteran of the 14th Gulf Air Defense and currently serving in the Army National Guard, wanted to obtain an Electrocardiogram (ECG) certification so she could work in health care. Unfortunately, she soon discovered that the GI Bill cannot be used toward obtaining such a certification.

A part-time employee at a local sporting goods store, Ashlee could not afford to pay for school on her own, so she applied for the VSF scholarship through Tri-County. She received a $1,873 scholarship so that she could enroll in the ECG Technician program at Tri-County Technical College, through the Corporate and Community Education (CCE) Division.

“I’m thankful to receive the scholarship which helped me to earn this ECG certification,” says Ashlee. “After this two-month training, I will be ready to enter the workforce.”

Through contributions from individuals and organizations, endowments have been established at Tri-County, Greenville and York Technical Colleges, as well as Spartanburg Community College, through the CCE Divisions. Endowments have also been established at the Technical College of the Lowcountry through the Continuing Education Division. This benefits veterans training, and helps reach our goal to put veterans to work quickly, ultimately helping […]

2017-01-30T17:54:57-05:00January 28th, 2016|Success Stories|0 Comments

VSF Funds the Key to Acquire EMT Certification, Staying Debt-free

US Army Veteran Rob ClinedinstUS Army Veteran Sgt ES Rob Clinedinst was about to rule out the opportunity to get his EMT certification—a valuable stepping stone on the way to a nursing degree— because he refused to bring on debt his family budget couldn’t bear. 

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.

Clinedinst applied for the scholarship and was approved. VSF covered the tuition cost and Tri-County’s Foundation covered the $170 […]

2017-01-30T17:54:57-05:00October 23rd, 2015|Success Stories|0 Comments