Ahmanson Veteran Scholarship Initiative aids student veteran success

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By Debbie Gregory.

A Los Angeles-based community organization has expanded its giving to provide over $1 million to California colleges to help veterans earn their degrees.

The Ahmanson Foundation has distributed grants to 25 private colleges and universities in California for the newly created Ahmanson Veteran Scholarship Initiative. The money has been earmarked specifically to recruit, retain and educate student veterans.

“These young men and women have done so much for this country, The Ahmanson Foundation is delighted to play a role in helping them re-start their education and assimilate back to their civilian lives,” said Foundation President, William H. Ahmanson.

For 60 years, the Ahmanson Foundation has funded cultural projects in the arts, humanities, education, and health care, as well as a wide range of human services to the residents of Los Angeles.

The organization’s veteran scholarship initiative for the 2013- 2014 school year will be dispersed among the 25 schools that range from small liberal arts colleges to large universities. The schools are allowed to allocate the funds as they see fit, and can use them in areas such as recruitment, outreach, tuition and creating veteran service centers on their campuses. The foundation designed the initiative to enable schools to provide veteran student support and help them graduate.

At Occidental College, the foundation money was combined with federal assistance to offer a full scholarship to a new veteran student. USC is using the funds to help veteran students enrolled in their School of Social Work’s military social work program.

After his school received grant money, Pepperdine University President Andrew K. Benton said, “This grant will enable us to better recruit, serve, and support the veterans by enhancing affordability, improving their educational experience, and more fully engaging them into the life of the University.”

Officials at the Ahmanson Foundation hope that their commitment to helping veterans attend and graduate will spread in other states and other organizations.

In addition to the money, the foundation has created a website to help veterans explore college opportunities in California. Visit the site at vetsback2college.com