KANKAKEE — The Kankakee Community College Veteran’s Resource Center provides military veterans with opportunities for academic excellence and fellowship.
Services of the Veteran’s Resource Center are underwritten by a donation from Riverside Healthcare. Over the last five years, Riverside committed $5,000 per year to veterans at KCC. The final payment of the commitment was made in October 2020.
“Riverside Healthcare is proud to support KCC’s efforts to offer services to military veterans,” said Phil Kambic, Riverside Healthcare president and CEO. “Given the commitments they’ve made and sacrifices offered for our freedom, this sponsorship is a practical expression of our thanks. We are grateful for the opportunity and applaud KCC in its ongoing efforts.”
The sponsorship allows the center to offer services to current students and community members who are veterans. The offerings include mentoring programs; information and referrals to community services; and workshops and programs on topics such as life skills, employment, and navigating finances.
In addition, for KCC students who are veterans, there are professional and leadership development opportunities, dedicated tutoring services, an emergency fund, and annual Veteran Stole Ceremony to recognize graduating service members.
Ron Griffin, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and 2019 KCC graduate, said the center was a “huge perk.”
“It’s a great spot for hanging out, getting some snacks, studying, or just taking a much-needed break,” Griffin said in a press release. “The best part about it is that it has provided me a place to meet other veteran or military connected students, staff, and members of the community. And it has been a helpful medium for all of us toward building a network and supporting each other.”
An active duty member of the Illinois National Guard, Shyanne Jackson said she has used several of KCC’s veteran’s services, including the Veteran’s Center.
“I’ve met other vets and heard their stories and connected with some of them,” Jackson said. “I even saw faces I thought I’d never see again. I will continue to choose KCC for as long as I can, because I know I will be taken good care of.”
KCC veterans are also giving back to the community.
Members of KCC’s Student Veterans Association have held multiple fundraisers and donated the proceeds to causes including Project Headspace & Timing, American Veterans Service Dog Academy (AVSDA), the Movember Foundation, the Chicago Ruck March, and the Purple Heart Foundation.
KCC also has been selected by GI Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School for the 2020-21 school year. KCC is one of 11 community colleges in Illinois chosen for this honor.
More information about services for veterans and the Veteran’s Resource Center is available from Kendra Souligne, KCC coordinator of financial aid and veteran’s services, at email@example.com or 815-802-8550.