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Truckee Meadows Veterans Club Receives $9,500 Award

Posted: Jun 4, 2014

Ryan Gerchman Takes Dip in Dunk Tank

Ryan Gerchman, TMVC President, takes a dip in the dunk tank during the Spring Community Colors barbecue on Apr. 30.

Truckee Meadows Veterans Club (TMVC) has been awarded a $9,500 VetCenter Initiative grant that will help furnish and equip the new Veterans Resource Center at Truckee Meadows Community College.

"This grant differed from other veteran-related grants that have been submitted recently in that it was submitted by and awarded to a student club," said Adine Stormoen, Tutoring and Learning Center Co-Coordinator and Faculty Co-Advisor for TMVC. "As such, it is able to cover things that might not be possible through more traditional grants, like an outdoor grill that can be used during outreach events. These extras can help TMVC to conduct outreach activities through which they can reach more veterans on campus."

TMVC is one of 11 college chapters that have been honored with the grant, out of a field of nearly 100 applicants. One other community college also made the top 11: Fayetteville Technical Community College in North Carolina.

The complete list of grant-winning institutions comprises:

  • California State University – San Bernardino
  • Glenville State College
  • Fayetteville Technical Community College
  • Louisiana State University
  • Marywood University
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Pennsylvania State University - Mont Alto
  • Purdue University
  • Salem State University
  • Southern Illinois University
  • Truckee Meadows Community College

The funds have been awarded to TMVC as 19 Home Depot gift cards of $500 each and may be used for any item that is carried at their stores or online. The club has now started to purchase needed supplies such as as office chairs, a couch, storage bins, cooler, refrigerator, freezer, microwave, a barbecue for outreach events, and a coffee machine.

"A free cup of coffee brings in the veterans, once here they find and get assistance in navigating a sea of good will that is available within the community and nation," said Ryan Gerchman, President of the TMVC. "We also help student veterans with specific needs like filling out forms or connecting with help supporting disabilities or resources to assist with stress. A goal is to make this a one-stop shop for veterans, a home on campus."

New equipment has the benefit of helping the chapter raise money for TMCC clubs, some of which are involved helping charitable causes.

"TMVC is continually doing things for the veterans on Campus. It is important to us that we also work together with other outstanding clubs in order to generate a sense of community and teamwork, just as we did with other nations while in service."

Another TMVC officer agrees.

"On April 30, we used our new barbecue at the Community Colors event," said Jesse Bates, TMVC Treasurer. "We partnered with the South Asian Students club and the Golden-Z club to hold the event. Overall, we raised approximately $600, which was then split three ways between the clubs."

TMVC has until December 14 to spend the gift cards, and is planning on buying supplies including a clock, book cases, tools, and cleaning supplies.

The VetCenter Initiative Grant is a collaboration of the SVA and Home Depot

The Student Veterans of America (SVA) is a nonprofit organization that was originally formed in 2008 as a result of a national grassroots movement by student veterans who wanted to provide better support to service members seeking a college degree. TMVC is one of 950 U.S. chapters recognized by the national SVA.

The Home Depot Foundation donated $100,000 to SVA for a collaborative grant called the VetCenter Initiative. The project’s purpose is to provide money to local chapters for assistance with construction or furnishing veteran resource centers on college campuses.

TMCC student veterans completed a thorough application package and video

The process began when TMVC was notified that the Student Veterans of America were offering to build or refurbish college resource centers for service members. The club decided to apply for the grant in order to foster a welcoming and appealing environment in the new center at TMCC. After planning and many hours working as a team, they submitted their completed application package on February 28.

TMCC President, Dr. Maria Sheehan, wrote a letter of support.

"The Center will become a refuge for our student veterans where they can converse with other veterans, obtain peer mentoring, gain both college-readiness and workforce-readiness skills taught by staff, including the writing of résumés, find a confidential space to receive individual support from community service agencies, and be guided in the search for financial support," wrote Dr. Sheehan in her recommendation letter.

TMVC submitted a business plan listing the club’s mission, goals, budget, and a school profile.

"The application process itself was pretty straightforward, but we had to work quickly," Stormoen said. "It took meeting up early in the morning and late in the evening, attention to detail, and the support of the TMCC community."

Timothy Ill, TMCC’s Videographer, assisted the club to create a video about the Veterans Resource Center’s purpose, objectives and needs. Parts of their film were included on an SVA press video featuring the stories of winning chapters.

Student veterans have an important message for the TMCC community

"The TMVC would like to extend a warm invitation to all veterans on campus for a free cup of coffee and an introduction to the Veterans Resource Center in Red Mountain Building 120," Bates said.

Additionally, the veterans club newsletter may be found on on the TMCC website; VETBNewsletterSpring14.pdf.



Posted by:
TMCC's Public Information Office
Telephone: 775-673-7087
Email: pio@tmcc.edu

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