2017 Spring Grants

The following grants were awarded as part of the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s 2017 Spring Cycle.


EDUCATION & EMPLOYMENT

The Warrior Alliance, Inc.

Operation Double Eagle

Location: Georgia

Issue Area: Education and Employment

The Warrior Alliance’s Operation Double Eagle premier golf course facility coordinates vocational rehab, provides on-the-job training in an apprentice setting, and identifies subsequent employment for veterans interested in construction, irrigation, facility management and other related fields. This unique program is located in Georgia, which has a high military population and a large number of transitioning service members. The state has granted a long-term minimal cost lease of the long-neglected Roosevelt Memorial Golf Course in Warm Springs, Georgia to Warrior Alliance, who has partnered with state, federal, and private employment resources to create a golf course working laboratory that provides wounded, ill, and injured veterans with new skills and subsequent employment. Operation Double Eagle builds upon free education from the Georgia Technical College system, and employs veterans in the restoration and daily operation the course, designed in the 1920s by famed golf architect, Donald Ross for Franklin D. Roosevelt. A Bob Woodruff Foundation grant will enable The Warrior Alliance to construct a golf course performance center, a construction and maintenance laboratory facility for wounded, ill, and injured veterans. This fledgling program will serve 50 veterans in the initial year, but the completed performance center will endure and serve veteran participants long after this investment.


National Association to Protect Children

H.E.R.O Child-Rescue Corps

Location: National

Issue Area: Education and Employment

The National Association to Protect Children (PROTECT) mission is to protect children from abuse, exploitation and neglect. The H.E.R.O. Child-Rescue Corps is a partnership with the U.S. Special Operations Command and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to train wounded, ill or injured post-9/11 veterans in cyber-security to combat online child exploitation. Veterans graduate from the program with valuable skills, and they typically secure employment within DHS. A grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation will fund one cohort of 15 wounded, ill or injured post-9/11 veterans through the H.E.R.O. Child-Rescue Corps.


NPower Inc.

Information Technology “IT” Workforce Development Training and Job Placement for Military Veterans

Locations: Jersey City, N.J.; Dallas, Texas; San Mateo, Calif.

Issue Area: Education and Employment

NPower’s IT Workforce Development program trains veterans and spouses with the skills necessary for required certifications and careers as IT professionals. Training locations are staffed with instructors who are connected to the military community and social workers to assist with psychosocial needs of students. At each location, NPower builds partnerships with veterans organizations and business in the local community to ensure that veterans experience opportunities to address their needs during their time in the program and to locate employment post program. NPower has a strong partnership with the Department of Labor, and is the first ever IT Apprenticeship program to receive DoL accreditation. The Bob Woodruff Foundation grant will provide the IT Workforce Development training to 240 veterans and spouses across three locations.


Worklife Institute

Veterans Worklife Transition Program

Location: Houston, TX

Issue Area: Education and Employment

Houston is home to one of the largest post-9/11 veteran populations in the country. The Worklife Institute administers the Veterans Worklife Transition Program to help veterans find employment through a portfolio of integrated services that includes career training, job hunting skills, personal transition counseling, trauma and family counseling, legal and financial advice, family life workshops, and information on veterans benefits. The Bob Woodruff Foundation grant will support the Worklife counseling services, child care, and program expenses.


Team Rubicon

Clay Hunt Fellowship Program

Location: National

Issue Area: Education and Employment

Team Rubicon unites military veterans and first responders, capitalizing on the mission focus and small-team ethos of these groups, to deploy effective disaster relief teams around the world. This Bob Woodruff Foundation grant will support 10 post-9/11 combat veterans in the Team Rubicon Clay Hunt Fellowship Program, which provides veterans an opportunity for professional development in nonprofit management and leader development for disaster response. Marine veteran Clay Hunt served in the infantry alongside Team Rubicon cofounder Jake Wood in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2007, Clay was wounded in action by an enemy sniper. Following his service, Clay helped establish Team Rubicon by deploying to Haiti and Chile, before dying by suicide. The Bob Woodruff Foundation is proud to continue our investment in this program, developed in Clay Hunt’s memory, to provide meaningful opportunities to veterans seeking mission and community.


The Mission Continues

The Mission Continues Fellowship Program

Location: National

Issue Area: Quality of Life

The Mission Continues empowers veterans to find purpose and mission through organized projects to revitalize local communities. Although best known for the team-based Service Platoon Program, the Fellowship Program for individual post-9/11 veterans is the bedrock of The Mission Continues. These veteran fellows commit 20 hours weekly of service to a local nonprofit organization that reflects that veteran’s personal passion. This program contributes to a network of community organizations while permitting veterans to follow their passion, identify a personal mission, and expand their knowledge of nonprofit operations. The Bob Woodruff Foundation is proud to continue our support of The Mission Continues Fellowship Program by funding ten veteran fellows.


Operation Opportunity Foundation DBA Warrior-Scholar Project

Warrior-Scholar Project

Location: National

Issue Area: Education and Employment

Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) offers an empowering academic bridge between military service and higher education for enlisted service members and veterans newly transitioned from enlisted service. The majority of veterans served in uniform as enlisted personnel, but this group of veterans is more academically vulnerable than their officer counterparts, and significantly less likely to complete four-year degrees at highly selective universities. WSP’s free academic boot camps are designed to reduce the barriers to success, to encourage and prepare veterans to use their GI Bill benefits at top-level colleges and universities, and to guide those veterans towards academic success. Through a grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation, WSP will provide 15 one-week liberal arts boot camps for 265 veteran participants. Four of the bootcamps will include an additional week of STEM curriculum. WSP participants also receive additional services during their academic progression, including on-line tutoring support and mentoring via a closed Facebook community.


Research Foundation of the City University of New York on behalf of Hunter College

PROVE

Location: New York City

Issue Area: Education and Employment

The Hunter College School of Social Work’s PROVE is a unique program located across eight campuses in the CUNY system. The community college model is especially important to student veterans, as more than a third of them enroll in public 2-year schools. PROVE integrates graduate student social workers into the student veteran community, with the joint goal of ensuring that student veterans on CUNY campuses have a successful educational journey and also raising graduate social worker’s military cultural competency. This program helps veterans ameliorate the difficult transition from the military to college life, while also raising graduate student social workers’ awareness of veterans’ unique needs. The Bob Woodruff Foundation grant will permit PROVE to continue their support of student veterans, and also invest in the improved capability of tomorrow’s social workers to address veterans’ issues effectively


Jonas Center

Jonas Veterans Healthcare Program (JVHP)

Location: National

Issue Area: Education and Employment

The Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare improves healthcare through nursing. It provides scholarships and advances leadership and innovation; collaborates on initiatives with other leaders in the healthcare and veterans fields; and addresses the dire health care needs of veterans. This Bob Woodruff Foundation grant will provide scholarships to five Jonas Nursing Scholars whose research will focus on the “hidden injuries of war,” including traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress, military sexual trauma and intimacy after injury. As the largest segment of the healthcare workforce, nurses are at the center of delivering care to all Americans. This program supports those who serve veterans, and improves direct patient care, research, policy and education. The result is a better-prepared and more sensitive healthcare workforce that understands the unique healthcare needs of the diverse veteran population.


QUALITY OF LIFE

Swords to Plowshares

Veterans Discharge Upgrade Advocacy Project

Location: National

Issue Area: Quality of Life

The Veterans Discharge Upgrade Advocacy Project is a partnership between two nationally renowned organizations to enhance national legal expertise on the issue of Discharge Upgrades and create strategic reference materials for legal clinics and attorneys who represent veterans before the service Discharge Review Boards (DRB) and the Board of Correction of Military Records (BCMR). With the Bob Woodruff Foundation grant, Swords to Plowshares (S2P) and Connecticut Veterans Legal Center (CVLC) will dedicate additional manpower to represent 50 veterans with bad paper discharges who have service-connected injuries that led to misconduct, such as TBI or PTSD. This representation will seek access for these men and women to benefits including medical care, GI Bill, and disability compensation. S2P and CVLC will create a best practices manual and online Continuing Legal Education (CLE) courses that reflect the lessons-learned from these cases. This is a strategic investment for BWF, and the resulting materials will be a valuable resource to legal organizations that are serving veterans nationwide.


Public Counsel

Military Caregivers Program

Location: National

Issue Area: Quality of Life

Public Counsel’s Center for Veterans’ Advancement (CVA) Military Caregivers Program provides free legal services to military caregivers around the country. Their goal is to ensure that those caring for service members and veterans receive the benefits and services to which they are legally entitled. Families may experience challenges when government programs fail to recognize caregivers, or when a veteran with TBI-impaired judgment mistakenly opts to exclude the caregiver. Public Counsel assesses caregivers’ needs and makes referrals to pro bono attorneys from the private bar, whom they recruit, train, and oversee. The Bob Woodruff Foundation grant will expand Public Counsel’s capacity to assist 144 new caregivers clients, and continue to represent 95 caregivers receiving legal assistance to reduce their caregiving burden and increase their monthly income from earned VA benefits.


Warrior Canine Connection

Warrior Canine Connection Court Program

Location: San Mateo County, Calif.; Santa Clara County, Calif.

Issue Area: Quality of Life

With a Fall 2016 grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation, Warrior Canine Connection (WCC) developed a community-service-based diversionary sentence option for veterans whose service-connected injuries contributed to their involvement in the criminal justice system. The Warrior Canine Connection Court Program will be a service option available to veterans who receive a judicial sentence to perform community service. Those veterans will train dogs to subsequently serve physically-disabled veterans. The Spring 2017 Bob Woodruff Foundation grant will implement the Warrior Canine Connection Court Program at the San Mateo County and Santa Clara County Veteran Treatment Courts in California.


Rutgers University Foundation

Vets4Warriors

Location: National

Issue Area: Quality of Life

Vets4Warriors provides confidential, 24/7 nationwide personalized peer support for veterans and their families or caregivers via telephone, email, social media and live chat. Vets4Warriors complements existing crisis resources by focusing on ‘upstream’ support for veterans, before they experience a crisis. Staffed with veterans who are certified peer support professionals and supported by clinicians on call, Vets4Warriors assists callers facing a variety of challenges and life stressors including questions about how to access benefits, feelings of isolation, relationship problems, PTSD, and anxiety. The Bob Woodruff Foundation grant will empower a focused marketing outreach campaign to reach more post-9/11 veterans; develop a sustainable and diverse financial plan; curtail crisis escalation by providing effective ‘upstream’ peer counseling and referrals to veterans; and expand Vets4Warriors’ programmatic capacity above current levels to accommodate the needs of our recent veterans. With this investment, Vets4Warriors continues to play an important role in efforts to evaluate and identify best practices in peer-peer support for veterans


Team Red, White & Blue

Eagle Leadership Development Program

Location: National

Issue Area: Quality of Life

Team Red, White & Blue (Team RWB) supports veterans experiencing a challenging reintegration by providing them with personal, meaningful interaction, and by connecting them to their communities through exercise and social activities. Team RWB focuses on exercise and social activities that become part of a healthy lifestyle and will facilitate an authentic interaction with community residents. Through this grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation, Team RWB will expand the content and capacity of the Eagle Leadership Development Program to develop and strengthen several hundred local chapter leaders, and thus partnerships and military-civilian relationships. This Eagle Leadership Development Program expansion is an important investment in the network of leaders who will ensure the effective implementation of the Team RWB mission. The Bob Woodruff Foundation was an early partner with Team RWB, which as grown from 12 communities to 200; this BWF grant is an investment in strong leadership to ensure responsible growth.


Catch a Lift

Boots in the Gym

Location: National

Issue Area: Quality of Life

Catch a Lift has provided gym memberships and equipment for post-9/11 service-disabled veterans’ to enhance their physical wellbeing. This BWF investment permits Catch a Lift to expand their contribution and build, assess, and improve a new gym-based program. The Boots in the Gym (BIG) program will provide 60 veterans with a small peer group that uses gym fitness to improve physical outcomes, increase social interaction, and promote a healthy lifestyle. BIG participants will be physically evaluated before and throughout their participation.  The veteran’s gym squad will meet multiple times a week, and provide community, peer support, and measurable improvements in physical and mental health. The Bob Woodruff Foundation grant permits Catch a Lift to pilot the BIG program and to evaluate the effectiveness of mentoring and peer groups combined with gym access for post-9/11 veterans living with a service-connected disability.  The Bob Woodruff Foundation is proud to invest in this young and promising program.


Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing

Capacity Building and Programmatic Activities

Location: National

Issue Area: Quality of Life

Project Healing Waters Fly-Fishing (PHWFF) provides military and veterans with a lifelong skill that promotes an improved quality of life and an avenue to heal both physical and hidden wounds, away from hospital stays and rehabilitation sessions. In addition, the national fly rod building program promotes physical dexterity and facilitates camaraderie among the participating veterans and promotes healing through the power of art. The Bob Woodruff Foundation grant permits 900 PHWFF members to build customized fly rods, and convenes regional PHWFF leaders to discuss best practices and ensure effective program delivery.


Warrior Wellness Solutions

Warrior Wellness Solutions (Program)

Location: North Carolina

Issue Area: Quality of Life

Warrior Wellness Solutions provides personalized integrative health approaches, wellness education and specialized physical training from certified trainers to wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans and their families and caregivers in the state of North Carolina, the site of the largest U.S. military installation, and a significant post-9/11 veteran population. These approaches help the service member or veteran better understand how to eat better, improve gut health, practice yoga and mindfulness and execute a tailored workout regiment. Program participants report improvement in both physical and mental health, a better quality of life, and in some cases, a reduction in medications, which is done in tandem with the participant’s clinician. Warrior Wellness Solutions’ programs provide more personalized care, tailored to the specific needs of each service member and veteran, than that available through federal agencies.


Georgia Southwestern Foundation/Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving

Operation Family Caregiver

Location: Washington

Issue Area: Quality of Life

Operation Family Caregiver, a skill-building support program, helps caregivers manage the challenges inherent in their role. Caregiver coaches provide in-home, online and telephone consults tailored to the specific circumstances of an individual family, and work with caregivers to develop detailed notebooks with essential information that will be used long after the initial training sessions have ended. Already serving caregivers from 12 locations in 10 other key military states, the Rosalynn Carter Institute will use the Bob Woodruff Foundation investment to expand the implementation of Operation Family Caregiver to the state of Washington, which has a significant population of wounded, ill, and injured veterans.


Quality of Life Foundation

Wounded Veteran Family Care Program

Location: National

Issue Area: Quality of Life

The Quality of Life Foundation (QOL) Wounded Veterans Family Care Program addresses the unmet needs of military veteran caregivers who work tirelessly to provide daily, substantial care for catastrophically wounded, ill or injured veterans. The QOL provides a range of support tailored to caregivers’ individual needs, that might include meals, recreational services for minors, supplies for stress-reducing hobbies, dental care, or home or car repairs. A military caregiver who understands the demands experienced by this population leads the Foundation. The Bob Woodruff Foundation investment will provide at least 60 caregivers with quality of life improvements.


A Sanctuary for Military Families, Inc.

The A.R.T. of Project Sanctuary

Location: National

Issue Area: Rehabilitation and Recovery

Project Sanctuary helps active duty military and veteran families address family challenges and strengthen their family relationships with an evidence-based program built on compassionate advocacy, resiliency training and improving communication. Project Sanctuary uses licensed counselors, social workers, and certified therapeutic recreation specialists, in addition to peer mentors, to support military families and improve their coping and relationship skills. Their weeklong retreats include both outdoor recreation to break down barriers and heal the interpersonal fragmentation sometimes caused by military life, and also structured courses to improve relationship interactions and financial skills. A grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation will permit 23 post-9/11 military families to attend a Project Sanctuary retreat.


 Our Military Kids

“Standing Up for Military Children”

Location: National

Issue Area: Quality of Life

Our Military Kids supports wounded veterans by funding extracurricular activities and tutoring programs for their children. The BWF grant will help fulfill over 200 children’s extracurricular aspirations, focus their time and energy on an activity of importance to them, and decrease financial strain and emotional stress of the injured veteran parent and the entire family. This support for children’s extracurricular activities is an important complement to BWF’s other investments in the families of wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans, and underscores BWF’s intent to address the wellbeing of the entire caregiving family.


Camp Corral

Camp Corral

Location: National

Issue Area: Quality of Life

The mission of Camp Corral is to transform the lives of the children of wounded, ill, injured and fallen military heroes by providing a unique summer camp experience and an enduring connection to empathetic peers. Research has shown that the complex set of injuries that many service members have endured has an effect on their children, many of whom are at a higher risk for adverse well-being outcomes such as developmental delays, health issues, behavioral outbursts, and academic challenges. This risk diminishes when children with a wounded or injured parent connect with peers who have a shared experience. Camp Corral provides this opportunity to over 3,000 children every summer. A grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation will provide summer camp to 250 children of post-9/11 wounded, ill and injured service members or veterans.


Arts in the Armed Forces (AITAF)

Arts in the Armed Forces 9th Annual Broadway Event

Service Location: New York City

Issue Area: Quality of Life

Arts in the Armed Forces (AITAF) bridges the cultural gap between the military and the performing arts communities, by bringing the best modern American theater to the service members, veterans and their families, free of charge. Co-founded by Marine-turned-actor Adam Driver, AITAF programming encourages dialogue between artists and the military veteran audience. AITAF enlists artists of the highest quality from stage and screen, and chooses thought-provoking content with an eye to what might speak to this particular audience. Through its grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation, AITAF will perform on Broadway during Veterans Week, for an audience of 1,000 New York-area service members, veterans and their families.


REHABILITATION & RECOVERY

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

STRONG STAR Training Initiative

Location: National

Issue Area: Rehabilitation and Recovery

The South Texas Research Organizational Network Guiding Studies on Trauma and Resilience, or STRONG STAR, is a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional research consortium funded by U.S. Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) to develop and evaluate the most effective interventions for the detection, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of combat-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related conditions. They are renowned experts in Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), evidence-based treatments for PTSD, and are experienced both in training mental health care providers and in supervising clinicians. (Research underscores the importance of supervision for clinicians’ initial cases, but many clinicians cannot identify or afford to compensate supervising consultants.) This important Bob Woodruff Foundation investment permits STRONG STAR to train mental health professionals in PE and CPT, and to provide the necessary consultation for supervision. This BWF grant will complement Texas state resources to fund a Texas-oriented initiative, and will also fund STRONG STAR to develop and begin a broader program to increase the national number of community clinicians qualified to treat veterans living with PTSD


Emory University

National Prolonged Exposure Consultant Training Pilot

Location: Regional (Southeast U.S.)

Issue Area: Rehabilitation and Recovery

Emory’s Brain Health Center provides renowned and comprehensive care and treatment for post-9/11 veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and other service-related brain conditions. Emory programs integrate behavioral health care, psychiatry, neurology, rehabilitative medicine, wellness, nutrition, mindfulness training, and family support to help heal the invisible wounds of war without cost to veterans. With this grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation Emory will implement a pilot program to reduce the shortage of community clinicians trained to supervise other community mental health providers implementing Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE), and will assess the hurdles that mental health care provides experience when providing or seeking consultation for supervision to ensure evidence-based treatment for combat-related PTSD.


Recovery Resource Council

Enduring Families

Location: Dallas, TX

Issue Area: Rehabilitation and Recovery

Recovery Resource Council’s Enduring Families program improves family functioning and quality of life for post-9/11 veterans by addressing post-traumatic stress, reducing anxiety and depression in clients and family members through clinical therapy sessions. Enduring Families is a clinical, family-centered program, combining evidence-based therapies to help the veteran, spouse and their children gain awareness, insight about themselves, and learn to interconnect as a family unit. The grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation will support clinical interventions for 120 veterans, service members and their families, and will fund long-term evaluations of patient clients who complete their program.


Red Sox Foundation/Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program

Concierge Wrap Around Service with Home Base Volunteer Coordinator

Location: National

Issue Area: Rehabilitation and Recovery

Since 2009, Home Base bas been breaking new ground and leading regional and national efforts with a multi-disciplinary team of experts working together to help post-9/11 service members, veterans and their families heal from the Invisible Wounds of War: traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and related conditions. The Bob Woodruff Foundation is proud to be a founding partner of Home Base. With this most recent Bob Woodruff Foundation grant, Home Base will provide a concierge wrap-around service for 180 veterans receiving intensive treatment in Home Base’s two-week program and their accompanying family member. This program minimizes the stress veterans and their families experience while traveling to Boston, and ensures they feel welcomed and can focus solely on their recovery.


REBOOT Combat Recovery

Combat Trauma Healing Course Expansion

Location: National

Issue Area: Rehabilitation and Recovery

REBOOT Combat Recovery helps veterans and family members heal from the moral or spiritual wounds of war. The 12 session weekly combat healing course provides structured curriculum focused on clinical and faith-based support, education and affirmation, in an environment of trust. Participants learn to understand and address their personal moral injuries. Throughout the program, participants complete weekly assessments that monitor individual performance. REBOOT “communities” are mostly veteran-led and include a mental health professional. This Bob Woodruff Foundation grant provides operational support to eleven REBOOT locations that will serve 500 participants.


Soldiers and Families Embraced (SAFE)

Lazarus Project

Location: Fort Campbell, Ky., and surrounding communities

Issue Area: Rehabilitation and Recovery

The Lazarus Project at Soldiers and Families Embraced (SAFE) provides private, professional counseling, at no cost, to service members, veterans, and family members in the Fort Campbell area. Situated on the Kentucky and Tennessee border, Fort Campbell has one of the highest concentrations of soldiers in the country, along with one of the highest suicide rates. Although active military families, and many veterans, are eligible for medical care, many individuals are reluctant to seek mental health care. The Lazarus project provides service members, veterans, and their families with a unique bridge to further care, by helping them to identify their symptoms, destigmatize their diagnoses, and by introducing them to clinical care. The Lazarus Project is unique in its continuity of services to service members and veterans and its provision of care for the “whole family unit”.  The Bob Woodruff Foundation grant will fund counseling sessions for 55 veterans or service members with their families, and will also provide a new CRM to bolster SAFE’s tracking capability.


Trustees of Boston University

Strength at Home

Location: National

Issue Area: Rehabilitation and Recovery

Strength at Home, launched with Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs backing, reduces domestic violence in military families. Strength at Home intervenes to address conditions specific to veterans, providing tools to maintain a healthy relationship and mitigate challenges before family interactions become criminal offenses, which both hurt family members and can eliminate eligibility for VA benefits. Strength at Home employs a cognitive behavioral intervention and is the first program shown effectively to reduce both physical and psychological intimate partner violence in randomized, controlled-data trials. The Bob Woodruff Foundation funding will support the expansion of the Strength at Home program by training 10 regional trainers, who will train and consult at 10 new VA Medical Centers locations, serving as many as 400 veteran and their families.


Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Inc.

Healing from Military Sexual Trauma

Location: National

Issue Area: Rehabilitation and Recovery

The challenges of reintegration can be magnified for those service members who have experienced combat stress, trauma, or military sexual trauma (MST), and research indicates that female veterans who experienced MST are especially likely to avoid VA facilities. Further, of the 1,904 Veterans Administration facilities in the United States, fewer than 10 offer residential or inpatient mental health care designed specifically for these veterans, and only 3 provide treatment in female-only settings. With this grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation, the Omega Institute will provide critical mental healthcare for female veterans in an environment tailored to them. The BWF grant will permit 30 female veterans to receive a range of evidence-based healing modalities, including yoga, group dialogue, meditation, journaling and empowerment skill-building training to nurture mind, body, and spirit at this 1-week residential program.