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Home Depot, SVA grant to support new veterans center

  • Harper College News Bureau
  • July 11, 2016

Walking onto a college campus after leaving the military can be a disorienting experience for student veterans. That’s why The Home Depot Foundation and Student Veterans of America teamed to launch their Vet Center Initiative.

The partners recently announced they’re awarding the SVA chapter at Harper College $10,000 to support the College’s new Center for Student Veterans and Military-Connected Students.

“I understand being a soldier and the family dynamic that goes along with it,” said Assistant Professor Susan Harrison-Grant, who served in the Army Corps Medical Services until 2012 and is now the club’s faculty advisor. “They have unique needs and need a sense of community. This grant will help us create that.”

Harper is dedicating space within the College’s Student Center to provide a safe, supportive and engaging place for veterans or military-connected students (active duty, spouses and dependents).

The center will serve as a central location to get information about services designed for veterans as well as a space to gather socially. It will also welcome outside community partners such as the Veterans Affairs clinic in Evanston, which regularly sends a counselor to campus.

Each semester, Harper typically enrolls 250 to 300 self-identified veterans, and many are unaware of the services and benefits available to them. The grant will help with the buildout of the center.

Since 2014, the SVA Vet Center Initiative has awarded more than $950,000 to build and improve veteran spaces on 111 campuses, impacting more than 30,000 student veterans.

“Vet centers offer a home base on campus where student veterans can bond over similar experiences, learn from each other, and support one another through the challenges of college life,” said Heather Prill, Senior Manager, National Partnerships and Atlanta Hometown Giving, The Home Depot Foundation. “With a veteran center, these student veterans can chart an easier path towards graduation and continue to be tomorrow’s leaders.”

A grand opening for Harper’s new center will take place in September. For more information, visit harpercollege.edu.

Media contact:  Kim Pohl, Media Relations Manager, 847.925.6159