WDVA Vet Corps Program Receives AmeriCorps Grant
By WDVA Director, Alfie Alvarado-Ramos
I’m pleased to announce that the AmeriCorps Grant, which funds our Vet Corps program on higher education campuses, has received its second year of funding to the tune of $636,000!
Vet Corps members serve a vital role on higher education campuses and communities across our state helping to ensure veterans and their families are successful in their higher education pursuits. We also rely on our Vet Corps to help connect veterans and families to their earned benefits and refer them to local resources such as health and mental health care.
AmeriCorps funds come from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service programs, and Serve Washington, the state’s commission on service and volunteerism. Grants are awarded in 3 year cycles and a continuation during that cycle is not guaranteed, rather it is based on meeting performance targets and other AmeriCorps requirements.
The $636,000 will allow WDVA to provide 50 Vet Corps Members on Washington’s higher education and community partner sites across Washington. Last year, Vet Corps members were responsible for outreach to 897 veterans and or family members on and off campus, connecting 368 individuals to services and benefits. In addition, they provide services such as food pantries and clothing closets that contribute to family members and non-veteran students.
Following an independent evaluation, it was found that veterans served by Vet Corps have a higher likelihood of being retained with a 6% higher retention at colleges in collaboration with Vet Corps when compared to similar schools not participating in the program.
In 2020, we hope to receive the 3rd and final installment of the grant and another $636,000 to pay living stipends for the 50 Vet Corps members.
Are you interested joining our team? We are currently recruiting for Vet Corps members to begin service this fall. In addition to the modest living stipend, Vet Corps members receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, or scholarship, upon completion of their service. Those interested in serving can learn more by visiting www.my.americorps.gov, then search for Vet Corps.