Military and Veterans Success Center Awarded $10,000 Grant from Victories for Veterans Initiative

Group photo showing representatives from all organizations receiving 'Victories for Veterans' grants at Tropicana Field, including USFSP representatives Martin Tadlock and Milton White.

Group photo showing representatives from all organizations receiving ‘Victories for Veterans’ grants at Tropicana Field, including USFSP representatives Martin Tadlock and Milton White.

(Oct. 2, 2017) – The USFSP Military and Veterans Success Center will receive a $10,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation to provide financial support to student veterans, spouses and dependents. Funds are coming from the Victories for Veterans initiative, a unique partnership between Duke and the Tampa Bay Rays, and will provide short-term loans of $1,000 to $2,000 for students waiting at the beginning of the semester for their first Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefit payment.

“There is not always a match between processing on the federal government end and when bills are due for students, so these loans will provide much needed aid during that gap for things like books and housing,” said Milton White, Assistant Director of Veterans Service and Coordinator of the Military and Veterans Success Center. “Then once the money from the VA comes in, students will return the loan back to the school.”

White and Interim Regional Chancellor Martin Tadlock – both Veterans of the U.S. military – will attend an on-field presentation of the grant at Tropicana Field before the beginning of the Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles game Friday, September 29.

“We are committed to creating as welcoming an environment as possible for veterans, active-duty military and their dependents enrolled at USF St. Petersburg. Critical services provided by our Military and Veterans Success Center and awards like this from community partners allow us to continue that important work,” said Tadlock.

“Duke Energy is honored to help support our veterans through worthwhile organizations like the USFSP Military and Veterans Success Center,” said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy Florida president. “Last year our ‘Victories for Veterans’ partnership with the Tampa Bay Rays provided invaluable services to 1,300 local veterans and we are proud to continue this investment. We hope it will have a lasting effect on our community and is one of the many ways our company supports the men and women who have served our country.”

There are over 400 student veterans and dependents, making up eight percent of the university’s student body. The Military and Veterans Success Center opened during the fall 2015 semester to provide this population with a seamless transition from military to college life. The Center provides educational support as well as peer counselors and mentors who can assist with any transitional issues and anxiety.

“I got out of the military after 25 years in the Marine Corps, started classes and found myself in a whole other world. It was distressing and my anxiety was off the chart,” said White. “What saved me was having other veterans that I could relate to as part of a VA Work Study Program. I would go to class, become stressed, but then go to a place where I would have my comrades around me and talk about the stresses we were all enduring at the time.”

Several other organizations were awarded grants in the 2nd year of the Victories for Veterans initiative. They include:

  • Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge, Inc.
  • Florida Dream Center
  • United Way of Citrus County, Inc.
  • Veterans Alternative, Inc.
  • Quantum Leap Farm, Inc.
  • Camaraderie Foundation, Inc.
  • Freedom Ride, Inc.
  • Highway Park Neighborhood Preservation Council