New “Hostos Community Heroes” Grant Program Aims To Aid Veterans Date: July 17, 2014 Time: 1:04 PM Hostos Community College has received a $300,000 grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to launch a veterans support program called “Hostos Community Heroes.” Based out of the College’s Division for Continuing Education & Workforce Development (CEWD), Hostos Community Heroes is a two-year pilot program designed to support veterans pursuing non-degree CEWD certifications, remedial courses and related training programs, including Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Certification, Credentialed Alcohol & Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) Certification, and Hands-On Automotive Transmission Certification. Almost all of these programs are covered through the G.I. Bill. The Hostos Community Heroes program will be served by two committed staff members, a Veterans Coordinator and a Veterans Counselor, who will be charged with providing all the support necessary for training, employment, and enrollment in higher education. The Veteran Counselor and Veteran Coordinator will have an array of responsibilities, including: • Conducting intake to assess veterans’ prospective plans, identify personal challenges, and provide referrals to external organizations, as needed; • Providing academic advisement; • Presenting orientations and workshops on topics such as financial management skills, college-readiness supports, and how to maximize VA benefits; • Scheduling and oversight of study groups; • Conducting outreach to attract more veterans to the program; • Establishing partnerships with higher education institutions and employer consortiums to act as a feeder and garner scholarship support. Veterans’ employment outcomes will also be tracked at intervals of three months, six months and one year. After Hostos’ Division for Continuing Education & Workforce Development serviced approximately 130 veterans in 2013, the funding from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation was obtained in anticipation of a large influx of veterans who will be demobilized over the coming years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2 million Americans have served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, and a third of these veterans were deployed up to five times. The majority of the 68,000 service personnel in Afghanistan will return home by the end of 2014. In New York City, an estimated 17,300 veterans are currently unemployed, and nearly 3,000 of these veterans reside in The Bronx. About Stavros Niarchos Foundation The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (www.SNF.org) is one of the world’s leading international philanthropic organizations, making grants in the areas of arts and culture, education, health, medicine and sports, and social welfare. The Foundation funds organizations and projects that exhibit strong leadership and sound management and are expected to achieve a broad, lasting and positive impact for society at large. The Foundation also seeks actively to support projects that facilitate the formation of public-private partnerships as an effective means for serving public welfare. About Hostos Community College Eugenio María de Hostos Community College is an educational agent for change that has been transforming and improving the quality of life in the South Bronx and neighboring communities since 1968. It serves as a gateway to intellectual growth and socioeconomic mobility, as well as a point of departure for lifelong learning, success in professional careers, and transfer to advanced higher education programs. The College’s unique "Student Success Coaching Unit" provides students with individualized guidance and exemplifies its emphasis on student support services. Hostos offers 29 associate degree programs and five certificate programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY's four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions. The College has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education & Workforce Development that offers professional development courses and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. Hostos is part of The City University of New York (CUNY), the nation's leading urban public university, which serves more than 480,000 students at 24 colleges.