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Veterans Can Connect to Resources at Tri-County’s Hearts for Heroes Event

PENDLETON --- Tri-County Technical College's veterans' resource center and the Early Childhood Development (ECD) program are co-sponsoring a Valentine's event for military families to connect them with College and veterans' resources.

Hearts for Heroes will be held Monday, February 9, from 4 - 6 p.m. in the College's Café on the Pendleton Campus.  It includes an information session and dinner for the families, as well as activities for the children.  ECD students will assist children in making Valentine's Day cards to send to service members overseas.

"Our goal is to identify post-9-11 veterans in the community who need assistance, such as QuickJobs training programs (classes that offer quick and affordable training for displaced and under-employed workers in a series of in-demand jobs) through our Corporate and Community Education Division or are interested in enrolling in an academic program of study at one of our community campuses.   We will connect these veterans to resources to help them get that training," said College's Disabilities Coordinator Stephanie Winkler, who worked to create Patriots' Place, a veterans center that serves as a resource center and a place for student veterans to study, have meetings and talk with each other.   

"We want to identify the veterans in our area and to let them know that obtaining additional education is possible. This will be a good event.  They can learn about veterans' resources and our College at the same time," said Winkler.

The College Foundation recently was approved to receive a $17,000 grant from America's Warrior Partnership (AWP).  These funds will be used to employ a student veteran and to sponsor events and initiatives to assist our student veterans and other veterans in the area, said Winkler.

Another partner, Upstate Warrior Solution, a new non-profit outreach organization in the Upstate that locates veterans and addresses their needs and issues, will be at the event.  Their goal also is to identify post 9-11 veterans and to connect them with VA benefits and other assistance they may need.

Representatives from the Vet Center in Greenville, the Veterans Administration in Anderson County and SC Accelerate will be available, as well as the College's Corporate and Community Education Division.

            In 2013 the College celebrated Veterans Day by opening Patriots' Place, its first veterans' center.  Currently the College offers the following services for its veterans: disabilities services, career services, a financial aid veterans coordinator, veterans transfer credit; and a Student Veterans of America TCTC Chapter with veteran and psychology instructor Stacey Frank as faculty advisor. 

In an effort to connect with groups in the community, Winkler has partnered with veterans' community groups and arranged for Sheila Stone-Gray, a social worker with the Vet Center in Greenville, to visit the College once a week. 

Winkler also formed the Veterans and Advocates Leadership Team (VALT) which is comprised of leaders in the veterans' community. 

For more information or to RSVP for Hearts for Heroes, contact Stephanie Winkler at 646-1564 or swinkler@tctc.edu.