One of our Education initiatives is to “institute veteran student success programs at community colleges, and provide Grants to these programs, which would directly benefit veteran students’ academic and certification pursuits”.
Working with Arizona Community College Districts, S.E.E.4Vets has helped shape several programs, and provided funding to these programs. In addition to the schools offering programs to academically support the under prepared veterans, either thru one-on-one tutoring or veteran success programs, veteran service centers were established for the veteran student population at two schools.
Furthermore, it was most gratifying to hear excellent feedback from many student veterans who completed their community college education development courses, or used tutors available to them, which were programs S.E.E.4Vets had funded. In addition, it was heartwarming to hear comments from those who participated in our social activities. For example,
- A Paradise Valley Community College student veteran said this about the math course MAT108, “had this opportunity not been available, I would be failing math just as I did the past few times.” The veteran continues to utilize this opportunity and states that he is receiving A’s on his homework.
- Tutoring services, whether English or math, is a key offering at GateWay Community College, a program funded by S.E.E.4Vets. A student veteran said this about the math course MAT081, “the math tutor was very helpful and patient with me. I was glad he recommended math camp and videos which I think helped me. The quiet study space in the Veteran Center is very convenient.”
- AZ Coyotes Military Appreciation Night was a smashing success. A Glendale Community College student veteran said, “first off I would like to say thank you for everything that was put on the night of November 12th. The evening was amazing, dinner at Dave and Busters was great. And the game was even better. Thank you to everyone involved in setting it up; it was well organized and overall a great experience. Thank you for allowing me to be part of that wonderful night.”
- Student veterans from several community colleges participated in the S.E.E.4Vets, 3rd Annual Golf Tournaments; more than 24 played at TPC Scottsdale and Wigwam golf courses, combined. Phoenix College student veterans said, everyone had a great time at TPC Scottsdale and some have already said they would like to go again next year.
An important element for our success was careful analysis of the effectiveness of its initiative, oversight and the metrics to determine the impact on student veteran academic program completion, and effects on quality of campus life. Following is a partial listing of the successes.
Pima Community College (PCC) – pledged $10,000 and disbursed $5000. S.E.E.4Vets worked with PCC staff to help establish a Veterans Student Tutoring Service program at the school. The program will offer tutoring services to veteran students who are challenge to comprehend Math and Science and to improve their writing skills as well.
Success Strategies for College – Northland Pioneer College and S.E.E.4Vets partnered to support the veteran population at the school’s nine campus. In addition to furnishing the new veteran center at the White Mountain Campus with computer equipment, the S.E.E.4Vets $9,200 contribution will also cover tuition for 20 veterans to enroll in a new course that will available at all nine NPC locations starting in spring 2017. The semester-long course is designed to assist veterans in developing “studenting” skills, such as reading a textbook for meaning, studying effectively and how to prepare for exams.
Through the partnership with Rio Salado Community College – East Valley Veteran Education Center, S.E.E.4Vets helped establish a math tutoring program that will become part of the EdReady program. The EdReady program prepares veteran students to successfully pass placement tests. Further, focused tutoring support increases the likelihood of successful college-level math course completion. The program will be implement Spring 2017 semester for the veteran student population at the school, and S.E.E.4Vets issued a Grant for $5000 to fund the program.
Math Success Scholarship ~ Paradise Valley Community College and Support Education and Employment for Vets (S.E.E.4Vets) collaborated on a Math Success Scholarship program for the veteran student population at the school. S.E.E.4Vets issued a Grant for $2500, January 2016 for spring semester enrollment against a pledge of $5,000 to fund the program.
Veteran Student Success – A Veteran Student Success program at GateWay Community College received an initial $12,000 Grant to fund the program, and in March 2016, S.E.E.4Vets issued the second Grant for $5000, which brings the total fund contribution to $17,000.
March 19 Networking Event – S.E.E.4Vets was honored to hold the event. It was a mild success, however. Coyotes Hockey office personnel (Tyler, Bill & Steven) fully engaged in supporting the event and S.E.E.4Vets. Feedback from a few veteran students indicated they enjoyed the gathering and hockey game.
November 12 was AZ Coyotes has held Military Appreciation Night. S.E.E.4Vets partnered with the Southwest Chamber of Commerce, and bought a Medal of Honor sponsorship. That sponsorship provided hockey game tickets. The organizations held a pre-hockey game dinner at Dave & Buster’s, and Division 6 Design was the sponsor for the food/non-alcoholic beverages. Our purpose was to invest in student veterans, to make a difference in the lives of these great young men, women, and their families who unlike the majority of their peers have given so much to ensure the freedoms our nation so richly cherishes.
S.E.E.4Vets Third Annual Golf Tournament at the historic Wigwam was a big success. We had more players this year than the previous year – 24% increase. Our organization also collected more money on mulligan/raffle tickets than last year – 47% increase. Further, money collected from the silent auction increased 51% from last year. In all, even without the $2500 title sponsor, the numbers reflected a financial success for our golf tournament.
In addition, sponsors bought foursomes so community college veteran students could play and eighteen played. Student veterans from the following schools participated: Glendale Community College, Arizona Western College, The Art Institute of Phoenix, Estrella Mountain Community College and Paradise Valley Community College.
Vern “Rusty” Findley, USAF Lt. Gen. (ret.) and Vice Chairman of the Board, S.E.E.4Vets, presents gifts to the luncheon speakers at the 3rd Annual Golf Tournament. Speakers were Brianna McCoy, Glendale Community College and Gabriel Tovar, Arizona Western College graduate and Northern Arizona University student.
S.E.E.4Vets incorporated in October 2013 and received its 501(c)(3) public charity designation in September 2014. The organization had a banner year in its third year of operations. The cost-control measures continue, to not only reduce overall expenses, but manage them as well. As a percent of total gross income, overhead expense was 18%; a reduction from prior year of 6%. Our organization strives to optimize issuing Grants to Arizona Community Colleges Districts. Further, S.E.E.4vets is the only organization working directly with AZ community colleges, funding certain programs at these schools to support their student veteran population.
Fundraising activity is high priority to us, and we exceeded the 2015 fund raising efforts. As a result, the organization issued $45,700 in Grants to six of the ten Arizona Community Colleges Districts. In addition, one of our education initiatives established in 2013 was to support the creation of Veteran Service Centers for student veterans. We believed then as we do now, that these centers seem to improve student veteran persistence and enables them to advance in their schoolwork. We have given rise to two veteran service centers with Grants totaling $14,240. Northland Pioneer College and Coconino Community College were recipients of the funds.
Overall, under the prudent guidance of the Board of Directors, the plan is to issue more Grants and continue emphasizing programs to prepare the underprepared veteran, especially English and mathematics, to excel in their regular college studies. Equally important, our 2016 accomplishments could not have happened without a committed and passionate board of directors.