Daytona State College has received a grant from the Margaret McCartney & R. Parks Williams Foundation to benefit military veterans and their families. Funding for the Vets Create program allows veterans, their spouses and dependents to enroll in a variety of courses in the studio arts at DSC as a means of expression, social reintegration, healing and engagement, as well as learning.
“As an art educator, I often talk about the power of art in our lives, but through veteran art programs I have witnessed first-hand the therapeutic qualities of the arts, the camaraderie created in a communal studio and the physical and mental benefits of the ceramic medium,” said Trent Berning, chair of the Mike Curb College of Music, Entertainment and Art, and associate professor of ceramics. “I am excited to expand on this idea with the Vets Create program that will cover all of our studio arts classes for the benefit of our veterans and their families.”
The Margaret McCartney & R. Parks Williams Foundation was established in 2001 with funding priorities centered on education, veteran rehabilitative services, and the prevention of cruelty to children. It is currently managed through a partnership with the SunTrust Foundation & Endowments Specialty Practice department.
Veterans and their family members may enroll in previously scheduled ceramics, drawing, painting, or design courses during the 2020 academic year. The grant will provide scholarship funds to cover course credits, lab and required fees, tool kits and art supplies specific to each course. The exact scholarship amount varies depending on which course is chosen.
Designated as a Military Friendly institution, Daytona State enrolls more than 1,100 veterans each year. Its Veterans Center is dedicated to providing resources, support, tutoring, and advocacy to ensure success by student veterans, which includes providing information on scholarship or grant opportunities. The Vets Create grant will enable the College to expand its current support and engage student veterans who may be suffering from anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Half of all veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are ages 25-34, and the average student age at DSC is 27. Currently, 15.7 percent of veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffer from PTSD, and veterans ages 18-34 have higher suicide rates than any other age group, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the National Suicide Data Report.
The Vets Create grant is the second awarded to the DSC Studio Arts Department in the last three years. In 2017, the department received a grant from the Veterans Art Project which paid for classes in ceramics.
Veterans interested in being part of the Vets Create program are required to submit a paper detailing their interest to [email protected] and must qualify for in-state tuition. Space is limited so applicants are encouraged to act now. The deadline for submission is Saturday, November 30, for the spring semester. A deadline for the fall 2020 semester will be announced at a later date.
For more information, please contact Trent Berning at (386) 506-3347, or [email protected].