ThanksUSA Launches Major Expansion of Programs Assisting Military Families

Pathways for Patriots Programs Strengthen Resources for Education and Career Enhancement

Work is scarce, money is scarce, stress is high, and I don’t want to give up on my goals.”

— ThanksUSA Scholar Alison

MCLEAN, VA, USA, January 26, 2021 / — ThanksUSA today announced a major expansion of its programs to assist military families through the Pathways for Patriots program, spurred by the coronavirus pandemic and fueled by the ongoing needs of military families. The national non-profit organization will supplement its academic scholarships with significantly enhanced programs that connect, enrich and inspire military-connected individuals.

“Our military families are already burdened by lengthy deployments, constant moves, financial hardships, high spousal unemployment and more. The pandemic is compounding those challenges,” said Jon Rosa, ThanksUSA President and CEO. “It is critical that we help alleviate those additional burdens for those who sacrifice so much for our country.”

According to a recent survey of ThanksUSA scholarship recipients, the coronavirus crisis – against which the military is also deployed – has increased their financial and mental health burdens and significantly disrupted their education and career enhancement opportunities. The new programs, aimed at addressing these issues, will launch this week with a two-part peer discussion "Pandemic Resilience: From Surviving to Thriving," facilitated by ThanksUSA co-founders Kelsi and Rachel Okun.

The survey uncovered stories of anguish, including that of military spouse Alison who is pursuing a career as a dental hygienist. She was jobless for almost two months because of the pandemic and is now juggling only part-time hours as well as costly internet access with her children, all forced to learn online. Alison wrote, “Work is scarce, money is scarce, stress is high, and I don’t want to give up on my goals.”

Leticia’s husband contracted COVID-19 on duty; she became sick too. Still not fully recovered, studying and with small children at home, her load has only become weightier: “I am a teacher, mom, best friend, wife, maid, chef, nurse, etc. Of course, this pandemic and having to deal with the constant changes has affected my mental state,” said Leticia.

“More than half of our respondents cited economic and emotional stress,” explained Rosa. “On the education front, 58 percent reported that their internship, work-study, or other job opportunities were halted or curtailed, while 45 percent noted a lack of access to instructors or mentors for career development advice. Their future career goals are in jeopardy.”

The expanded Pathways for Patriots program is intended to right the course. Among its elements are:

– Pathfinder sessions in which small numbers of participants will hear from professionals about their career field, obstacles and lessons learned;
– Around the Table peer discussions to address financial, emotional, educational and career issues with significant focus on solutions;
– Ask the Expert counseling offered by experts with questions submitted through social media;
– Seminar series focused on career development; and
– Enrichment/job recruitment fairs.

The monthly Pathfinder mentoring sessions will feature entrepreneurship advice from Elizabeth Frazee, co-founder of TwinLogic Strategies; career-development coaching from Alex Ehrlich, a longtime leader in the financial services industry; business etiquette from Jessica Marventano, co-author of The Marvelous Millennial's Manual to Modern Manners; and more.

“Americans everywhere are hurting, our military families among them. Our goal is to offer a helping hand to the children and spouses of our service members taking them from the classroom to the boardroom, vocational training to the manufacturing arena,” said Rosa. “Pathways for Patriots does that and will inspire confidence in a brighter future for them – personally and professionally.”

*Surnames do not appear for privacy reasons. For interviews with scholarship recipients, survey respondents, and ThanksUSA’s President and CEO, please contact us.

Jon Rosa
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Source: EIN Presswire