A couple in Tallahassee, Florida is working to help student-veterans succeed in life after service, reported the Tallahassee Democrat. Karen and Richard Moore, co-founders of a local communications company, donated to Tallahassee Community College's veterans center, which provides academic and financial services to former military personnel enrolled in TCC degree programs. The Moores also established a mentorship program at the school that connects student-veterans with local professionals.
The couple maintains a close relationship with TCC. Their son attends the school, and Karen Moore is a trustee. The college, on Feb. 23, renamed its veterans center in honor of the Moores' contribution.
"Karen and I wanted to make a significant gift to TCC," Richard Moore said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Richard W. and Karen B. Moore Veteran Success Center. "Service to our country and the military runs deep on both sides of our family."
Richard Moore is an Air Force veteran. His father and four uncles saw action in World War II, as well. Karen Moore's father served in the Navy.
According to the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, the state has the third largest veteran population in the country. And, 75 percent of these former servicemembers served in wartime.
Students centers gaining importance
Since the post-Sept. 11 G.I. Bill took effect in 2009, almost 1 million veterans and their family members have accessed federal educational benefits, reported The New York Times. In response, colleges across the country established on-campus programs to aid student-veterans as they return to campus. Eastern Kentucky University instituted new academic initiatives to support its student-veteran population, which has doubled since 2010. It now offers specialized English and math courses to incoming freshman who served in the military. Travis Martin, an Army veteran, EKU grad and instructor at the school, runs multiple orientation programs for former servicemembers.
"I've learned that creating community was key for the veterans," he told The Times. "Those relationships will keep them in school."
Other universities have long offered veteran-centered programs. The University of Maryland has hosted on-base educational programs for servicemembers since 1949.
Serving those who served
Tallahassee Community College provides a host of services for enrolled former military personnel. It offers specialized academic advisors to student-veterans and staffs a cadre of VA medical counselors who are available to ex-military members and their dependents.
"Our college will continue to do everything we can to promote those who have served our country," TCC President Jim Murdaugh, Ph.D., wrote in a blog post. "Their stories of dedication and sacrifice are a constant inspiration."