Universal Technical Institute Foundation launches Military Transition Support program to aid returning veterans
Program will help cover day-to-day expenses related to schooling
PHOENIX--Nov. 11, 2013: With the help of NASCAR driver Joey Logano, the Universal Technical Institute (UTI) Foundation launched the Military Transition Support program (MTS) over Veterans Day weekend to ensure veterans of the U.S. military and members of their families have the necessary resources available to achieve their career ambition of receiving a technical degree or certification.
Managed by the Universal Technical Institute Foundation, the program provides grants to cover day-to-day expenses related to school including rent, relocation costs, food and childcare, that place a financial burden on veterans, making it harder for them to transition back into civilian life.
"The Military Transition Support program will help ease the financial strain our returning veterans face when trying to manage the oftentimes difficult process of assimilating back into civilian life," said Veronica Meury, UTI Foundation vice president and executive director. "These men and women have served our country in the most admirable way, and we want to remove some of these obstacles so that they can pursue their education and career ambitions."
Penske Racing driver Logano helped launch the new program by surprising one young disabled veteran, Starrbuck Long, and his family with news that they would receive the first disbursement of $5,000 from the program, which was made possible through a donation from the Joey Logano Foundation. In addition, Shell Oil Company, sponsor of Logano's No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car, surprised the family with a $500 Shell V-Power gift card.
Long, whose disability and full-time enrollment in school prevents him from being able to work, has struggled to manage the daily challenges of keeping up with his course work and bills while supporting his wife Jacquelyn, and their two young daughters, Kara and Aurora. The grant will cover five months of rent to help relieve some of the financial burden on the family.
Logano surprised the Longs in front of 45 military veterans and UTI representatives during the NASCAR Truck Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, where the group received a special VIP experience in honor of Veterans Day.
"I've been fortunate enough to go on two USO tours, and there's nothing more honorable than serving your country," said Logano. "We should do whatever we can to help our returning veterans. When I heard Starrbuck and others' stories I just really wanted to help, and the Military Transition Support program seemed like a great way to help make life a little easier for them while they pursue their dreams."
The Universal Technical Institute provides post-secondary education for students seeking careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle, marine, NASCAR and other transportation industries at 11 campuses across the country. The mission of the UTI Foundation is to support and encourage technical education for these industries through scholarships, grants, career development and other special programs. Currently, approximately 15 to 18 percent of UTI's new students across all campuses come from the Military student segment.