Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Above & Beyond: Spotlight on VSAT

VSAT visits the Above & Beyond Program

Since 2009, Hope For The Warriors® has helped service members transition out of the military and into civilian careers through the Above & Beyond Professional Development Program.  The program depends on the support of volunteers to work one-on-one with service members in the areas of resume building, interview skills and more.

Equally important is the collaboration with other nonprofits and organizations.  One such collaboration is with the VSAT Program.  VSAT stands for:  Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training and is part of Archi's Acres.  Archi's Acres is a family-owned and operated farm in Southern California.  Owners, Colin and Karen Archipley, began the farm to do more than just grow sustainable food.  They also use the farm and the VSAT Program to help veterans transition into farming. 

VSAT has been presenting at the Above & Beyond seminars for several years now and although farming is not everyone's goal, they have opened options to several of our veterans and their families. 

Recently, Colin and Karen were highlighted on a PBS cooking show in the San Diego area called Savior San Diego.  The show did a fantastic job highlighting the importance of agriculture as a business option for transitioning veterans.  This is a great episode and we highly recommend that you watch it. 

The video also highlights a couple that attended the Above & Beyond Seminar last year.  We are mentioned briefly around minute 15 but the entire show is wonderful to watch.

Watch the Video

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Above & Beyond Workshop and T3 Employment Resource Expo

Today's blog is written by Jon Giuffre, new marketing manager with Hope For The Warriors®.  He shares his experiences attending his first program within our Employment & Education pillar.
As a relatively new member of the Hope For The Warriors® staff, I had not gotten the full opportunity to experience first hand some of the amazing programs that the organization has to offer. This past Thursday and Friday, I finally had my chance, and worked with fellow staff members at the Above & Beyond Workshop in Dulles, VA.

Veterans work one-on-one with Volunteers
The Workshop was an all day event that was held in the Northrop Grumman building, and several employees volunteered their time to assist veterans of all ages with several professional development exercises.  These included: resume writing, mock interviews, and presentation activities.  Everyone involved was actively participating, and it was great to see the veterans so eager to take in all of the information that was had been provided.  All of this was useful to help them prepare for the T3 Employment Resource Expo the next day. I have to give credit to the Hope For The Warriors® staff that organized the workshop; Connie Morinello, Brian Schiller, and other staff members who volunteered, Joy Ashcraft and Rob Cork.  They did a terrific job assisting with the professional development exercises and made sure that each veteran was getting all they could out of the day.

The T3 Employment and Resource Expo was held by the Dulles Chamber of Commerce.  A few local businesses came ready to schedule interviews with the veterans, as well as provide information about their companies and what positions they had available and were looking to fill. It was a great experience for our veterans to speak with a few potential employers, and most seemed extremely confident speaking with them.  A big thanks to the Dulles Chamber of Commerce and the companies that attended; it was a wonderful event.

Getting a job in this day and age is hard enough, and can be even more difficult for veterans.  These are people who served their country, and put their lives on the line for us, so I believe that it is the utmost importance that we assist in any way we can.  Seeing how this Above & Beyond Workshop helped veterans gain confidence in their resume, interview, and presentation skills completely reinvigorated me as to why I chose to work with Hope For The Warriors®.  I hope to be involved in more and more of these events in the near future.
Learn more about the Above & Beyond Program