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360 Degrees of Support for Veterans

01/29/13

While the number of deployed troops is going down, the number of veterans coming home is increasing fast. To better support those veterans, Soldiers’ Angels is taking on our biggest project yet: Project-360.

Under Project-360, the Soldiers’ Angels Support Center in San Antonio will eventually host a full-circle drop-in resource center for service members from all branches. The mission will be to empower veterans with all the skills they will need in their post-military lives. The state-of-the-art Project-360 facility will have three main components: the Entrepreneur Academy, the Drop-In Resource Center, and the Health & Wellness Center.

Centered around a “class” of 20-30 veteran entrepreneurs at a time who will train and work together, the Entrepreneur Academy will help en-sure new veterans’ businesses are not only viable, but truly successful in America’s “cut-throat” business environment. The Academy will be based on a six-month training curriculum that will offer courses and seminars on all aspects of running a small business. Veterans will work together to hone their skills as business owners and learn to promote ideas to help each others' respective businesses. In addition to the training curriculum which will lead to a college-backed certificate, trainees will participate in networking events to help boost their exposure to potential customers and vendors. The Entrepreneur Academy will offer a full-service business center for its trainees, including offices, class rooms, conference rooms, meeting rooms, seminar rooms, printers/scanners, and fax machines.

The first stage of this exciting new project will open in April/May of this year, but many additions are in the works. We are especially ex-cited about exploring a strategic alliance with the University of Texas at San Antonio. We are ironing the details on how UTSA can help us develop the entrepreneur curriculum, find additional grant funding, and sponsor a certification program for the Academy. The City of San Antonio has also expressed interest in this great initiative! More to follow!

The Resource Center portion of Project-360 will provide programs, services, and seminars to help service members transition to civilian life. The resource center will be accessible to all veterans—active duty, reserve guard, separated, retired and their dependents—and will offer seminars and peer-to-peer training on topics such as, financial management, resume building, interviewing workshops, computer/technology training, and valuable interpersonal skills. In addition, the Resource Center will provide valuable information and training on how to access and obtain crucial benefits from the VA system and other veteran resources/programs, including medical and disability benefits, and home ownership.

The Health & Wellness Center is designed with the concept that mental and physical health is a necessary component to happiness and success. By offering health and wellness training and programs, the goal is to help veterans adopt a lifestyle that will support transition and provide tools to stay fit in both mind and spirit. In addition to counseling and therapy, the Health & Wellness center will include a fitness center offering classes such as yoga, meditation and other group/individual stress-relieving resources. Additional plans include child care to ensure busy parents can benefit from the center’s resources.

We are so excited about the powerful potential of this program and can hardly wait to get it off the ground! If you know of a business or organization that would like to help with this great effort, Joseph Casas at joseph.casas@soldiersangels.org.

(updated 2/8/2013)


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