COD Foundation receives $15,000 grant from Bank of America
Grant to fund new mental health counselor for Veterans Affairs Program
Bank of America Charitable Foundation has awarded a $15,000 grant to College of the Desert Foundation and the BIGHORN Golf Club Charities Veterans Resource Center.
Thanks in part to this new grant, a new part-time counselor will be dedicated to the Veterans Resource Center on campus to serve as the center's mental health specialist and academic adviser, assisting military veterans in fully engaging in college life as well as providing mental health services and support. Each year more than 500 students who are veterans look to College of the Desert for their academic, skills training and re-training needs.
The COD Veterans Affairs Program provides a number of important services for veterans, including counseling and academic advising, personalized assistance in coordinating VA benefits, and programs to learn new skills and adapt current skills to civilian life. Some of the primary issues that are facing veteran students, many who have recently returned from combat, is a feeling of social isolation. Many have difficulty adjusting to civilian life, much less adjusting to the academic rigor and social atmosphere of an active college campus. To compound matters, 80% of these men and women, sadly, are unemployed.
Because of generous donors like Bank of America, the BIGHORN Golf Club Charities Veterans Resource Center at COD is now able to provide specialized counseling and career placement assistance and related resources needed by students who are veterans. The grant from Bank of America will help College of the Desert continue providing critical services and support needed for these students to succeed in college and beyond.
College of the Desert Foundation is just one of over 1,000 nonprofits in 34 states that have benefited from over $22 million in philanthropic funding from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. These grants focus on helping the unemployed, underemployed, youth, veterans and the disabled obtain and retain jobs. Collectively, Bank of America’s funding will enable these organizations to reach more than six million people, match over 100,000 youth with mentors, and help 29,000 individuals graduate with a degree or certification.
Photo Caption Pictured Left/Right: Al Argüello, Senior Vice President, Market President Inland Empire, Bank of America; Dr. Joel L. Kinnamon, Superintendent/President, College of the Desert; Marine Staff Sergeant Shawn Nicholson, student & Past President of the COD Student Veteran Organization; Donni Prince, Veterans Resource Specialist; Mark Messenger, Senior Vice President Small Business Banker Manager, Inland Empire/Palm Springs Desert Resorts, Bank of America.
Kerry Sullivan, President of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, says, “Investing in our nation’s current and future workforce is key to ensuring we remain competitive in an increasingly complex and competitive global economy. At Bank of America, we’re helping connect America’s workers to the education and skills necessary to help them find meaningful employment that will help them provide for their families and ultimately strengthen our communities and local economies.”
The COD Foundation was established in 1983 by a group of visionary business and community leaders as a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of higher education in the Coachella Valley by encouraging private and public support for College of the Desert. Over the last thirty years, College of the Desert Foundation has raised over $70 million to support students and programs at the College. For more information, call (760) 773-2561 or visit codfoundation.org.