Saturday, July 20, 2013

EVVEC Weekly Outreach Programs Support Local Veterans

This article can also be found in the July 20 edition of the Tempe Republic

The East Valley Veterans Education Center provides veterans and their families with information, support and advocacy.

"This is the place to come first because we know what direction to get you going in," said Darcy Breault, student services specialist at EVVEC. "We help figure out who to call and what questions to ask."

In addition to one-on-one support, EVVEC also offers a variety of weekly services and workshops that help veterans successfully transition to civilian life.

Veterans Upward Bound

Veterans Upward Bound offers remedial math and English classes for free. It is a grant funded program designed to prepare veterans for college placement testing.

"VUB puts the veterans back in the classroom allowing them to get their feet wet," Breault said. "It saves their GI Bill, and expedites their educational process by getting them past the developmental classes."

Breault said she believes VUB serves as a catalyst to educational success for many veterans.

"Once a veteran gets going in the classroom, they really soar," Breault said. "To be able to go into a classroom and study English or math with the camaraderie of other veterans who are also transitioning, builds a team mentality. It takes away some of the nervousness of being in the classroom and some of the anxiety."

Veterans Court

Veterans court is a Maricopa County Superior Court program that addresses the increasing number of misdemeanor offenders with service related trauma.

"Veterans court is a place where people understand veterans," Breault said. "They understand some of the triggers that lead to poor decision making and can come up with solutions that make sense."

Gerrick Hyde of Veterans Court is available Wednesdays from 12 - 2 p.m. to discuss eligibility and provide information on the program.

VA Benefits and Health Care Claims

Representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Disabled American Veterans also make regular visits to EVVEC.

The VA transition claims advocate can file a claim or answer questions about a claim, enroll veterans in the healthcare system and has specialized knowledge of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn medical claims.

The DAV service officer provides assistance with VA claims, survivor benefits, employee rights, education benefits and DAV membership services.

Education and Career Counseling

As an outreach initiative of Rio Salado College and partner colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District, EVVEC provides a variety of educational support services including career and personal counseling, military-specific academic advising and assistance navigating the MCCCD registration and enrollment process.

For specific dates and times of any of these services visit