Idaho group grants academic scholarships to 15 veterans

BOISE — Fifteen veterans received $1,000 each last week to support their educational goals as part of the Idaho Veterans Academic Grant Unification  (IVAGU). The winners were recognized during an awards ceremony held at the Boise State Alumni Center.

The IVAGU is the result of collaboration between the Idaho Veterans Network, Military Order  of the Purple Heart Chief Joseph Chapter 509, Ride for 22, and the Wyakin Foundation. The four  entities raised $15,000 to be given as fifteen (15) individual $1,000 grants. Veterans pursuing a  full-time student load in the spring 2023 semester at a college or university located within the  Treasure Valley were eligible to apply. Applications closed on February 15th, 2023. 

The inaugural Idaho Veterans Academic Grant Unification recipients are: 

Brian Bayley, United States Air Force, College of Western Idaho  

Brandon Boller, United States Army, College of Western Idaho  

Maxwell Curtis, United States Army, Boise State University 

Hector Diaz, United States Army, College of Western Idaho 

Esteban Gonzales, United States Army, Boise State University 

Sean LaNier, United States Army, Northwest Nazarene University  

Leah McCloughan, United States Army, Eagle Gate College

Chris Pezzoni, United States Army, Treasure Valley Community College 

Sandra Rollings, United States Army, Boise State University 

Justice Salvey, United States Navy, Boise State University 

Jackson Shauger, United States Army, College of Western Idaho  

Amy Valadez, United States Navy, Northwest Nazarene University 

Bridget Wintrode, United States Army, College of Western Idaho  

The intent of the academic grant is to move away from specific learning institutions and allow  the veteran community to directly impact the veterans navigating their educational plans,” said  George Nickel, Director of Veteran and Student Affairs at the Wyakin Foundation and a member  of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.  

Veterans interested in applying for next year’s IVAGU should email [email protected].  Applications are expected to re-open January 2024.  

The Wyakin Foundation, Idaho Veterans Network, Ride for 22, and the Military Order of the  Purple Heart Chapter 509, hope new community partners will join them in creating lasting  change for Idaho veterans by joining this collaborative effort. Interested groups should contact  [email protected] or call 208.853.6001.  Idaho Veteran Scholarships

About Wyakin Foundation 

The Wyakin Warrior Foundation was founded in 2010 by Jeff Bacon, Rebecca Bacon, and Idaho State Senator Marv Hagedorn to provide a pathway for wounded and injured post-9/11 veterans  to transition through education into careers of their choosing. In August 2011, the Wyakin Foundation officially welcomed its first class of Wyakin Warriors into the program. Over those  years, the organization has served well over 140 veterans. The Wyakin Foundation is recognized  as one of the most comprehensive and effective programs of its kind in the nation. In 2022, the  Wyakin Foundation was named Non-profit of Excellence by the Boise Metro Chamber of  Commerce and was an Idaho Philanthropy Day Outstanding Nonprofit Honoree. The need for  the program continues as hundreds of thousands of veterans face the challenges of transition  from active-duty service to the civilian community each year. www.wyakin.org 

About the Idaho Veterans Network: Idaho Veteran Scholarships

Founded in 2009, Idaho Veterans Network (IVN) has become a respected, non-profit provider of  veteran services, working tirelessly to help provide solutions to the many challenges our veterans  face. IVN supports veterans through peer-to-peer service and interaction, direct financial  assistance, educational scholarships, and the free distribution of a state-wide veteran newspaper  dedicated to military culture and experience. In addition to providing leadership and support for  broader initiatives within the veteran community, IVN also helps veterans identify local support  organizations best equipped to help with their specific needs.

About Ride for 22: 

Ride For 22 seeks to serve as a living memorial to our fallen, increase public knowledge and  awareness of PTS, share helpful resources, provide support and comfort to the grieving families  left behind. 

About Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chief Joseph Chapter 509: 

The mission of the Military Order of the Purple Heart is to foster an environment of goodwill and camaraderie among combat wounded veterans and promote patriotism. We serve all the  beautiful state of Idaho including Boise, Middleton, Caldwell, Star, Idaho Falls, Meridian, Post  Falls and more.  Idaho Veteran Scholarships

Our goals include promoting patriotism, educating our members, and engaging them in important  legislative initiatives that we work on for our members and all veterans. Most importantly, we  strive to facilitate and provide all available assistance that veterans and their families may need.