‘Pay It Forward’ Program Provides Lifeline to Veterans in Need

Article by: Janet Paulson

Veteran students at Clackamas Community College have developed a solution to the ongoing problem of late veteran’s benefits. And the Oregon City Elks stepped up to seed the new Pay It Forward Veteran Discretionary Grant at a special evening honoring CCC veteran programs earlier this month.

Late benefits affect almost every veteran at least once in their academic careers, and for some it is a constant problem. Students in the CCC Veterans Club recognized this problem and came up with a solution: structuring and maintaining a grant to fill the gaps caused by late benefits for veterans.

The Veterans Club worked with the CCC Foundation, a 501C3 non-profit organization, to establish the grant program. Oregon City Elks member Ken Kraft presented Veterans Club President Jerred Sundquist with a $1,000 Beacon Grant on March 10. The Veterans of Foreign Wars donated $700, and Elks members Dick and Barbara Knudson made a $5,000 donation.

Donations to the fund will be divided between an endowment and funds available for immediate needs. Veterans in need of a one-time grant will apply to the Veterans Center. Funds will be available summer term.

“Veterans can pay back the grants if they are able,” said Greg Myers, veterans affairs coordinator at CCC. “The Pay it Forward spirit is important. We are giving back to the veterans that have given unselfishly to this country so they may succeed.”

Serving veterans and their families is college-wide commitment at CCC. The college was recently awarded the national Family Program Community Purple Award by the National Guard Joint Family Program.

If you would like to learn more about the Pay it Forward Program or make a contribution, please contact Vicki Smith at 503-594-3128 or email vickis@clackamas.edu.

Contact the Public Affairs Office

Oregon City - 19600 Molalla Avenue, Oregon City, Oregon 97045

Email us: publicaffairs@clackamas.edu

Call us: 503-594-6000

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