Highlight: Tierney Center for Veteran Services at Goodwill OC

Sara Chuzie Affiliate Success Stories, Uncategorized

Miguel, a Post-9/11 veteran and student at Cypress College, was referred to the Tierney Center by our education partner, Cypress College, for the Orange County Real Estate Emergency (OCRE) fund. This fund is the direct result of data collection from seven participating colleges to identify VA benefit usage, gaps in service and student’s awareness of the Orange County veteran space. The main focus of this fund is to keep students on track to graduate. Miguel was discharged from the Army in 2013 under general conditions. This discharge status poses many barriers for veterans by blocking their access to important veteran educational benefits. However, this fact did not stop Miguel from obtaining his education goals. Totally determined to advance his education and skills, Miguel enrolled in the Cypress College Automotive Technologies Program without access to his education benefits. Partner relationships are vital in integrating local resources to best serve our veteran population. In Miguel’s case, two major barriers were defined. The first barrier was Miguel’s access to education. The second barrier was Miguel’s discharge status. Knowing an upgrade in his discharge status would take time and resources, a School Certifying Official from the Cypress College Veteran Resource Center immediately set up funding for Miguel’s books, entrance fees and tuition for the first semester through a California state program for low income students. To cover Miguel’s second semester, approximately $450 was provided by the Tierney Center via the OCRE fund for tuition. Books and admission fees for his second semester was provided by the Cypress College Foundation. Working collectively has helped Miguel remain in school and on track to graduate in January 2019. To mitigate his second barrier, the Cypress College enlisted the help of Veteran’s Legal Institute (VLI). VLI has been a long standing pro America’sWarriorPartnership.org © 2017 America’s Warrior Partnership and Tierney Center for Veteran Services at Goodwill OC. Allrightsreserved. Case Study. bono legal resource and partner of the Tierney Center here in Orange County, California. They have an excellent track record with discharge upgrades. Veterans Legal Institute is also a participant of the America’s Warrior Partnership Community Integration subgrantee program. Although this upgrade service will take time we are certain Miguel’s discharge status will be upgraded allowing him to be eligible for veteran educational benefits just in time for his second year of studies.