With so much going on in the world, it helps me to make space for intentional moments of gratitude. As we close in on Veterans Day 2017, I’m taking a moment to reflect on the sacrifices of those who have served, my gratitude for them and their families, and the inspiration they have given us here at TDC to do more over the past year to honor and support veterans.
First, we decided to revamp our scholarship program to focus on veterans working toward their MSW degrees. The applications that came in were staggering: the stories of service and sacrifice were inspiring and it was humbling to choose the winners. The five social workers who won: Fernando Chavarria, Jonathan Gill, Kelli Hartzenbeuhler, Kevin Rumley, and Shayne Wiggins all embody the future of our profession. Each of them have thrived through their individual challenges and have committed themselves to careers in which they continue to serve others. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings to each of them as they graduate and enter the workforce.
Then, we decided to change how we offered exam prep services to veterans.
I have a crystal clear memory of that moment: Amanda and I were hiking together during a team retreat and I was following her on the trail. I said something about the Veterans Service Scholarship we had in the works at that time and she said, without hesitation, “We should be giving the study materials to vets for free. Let’s just do it.” I agreed wholeheartedly, and we continued on our hike. It instantly felt, and continues to feel, like the right thing to do.
As of today, TDC has provided exam preparation materials and coaching services to nearly 80 veterans and active duty military personnel- and there are at least a few more in my inbox that will be good to go today!
The gratitude I experience around this is circular: I feel grateful to these individuals for the sacrifices they (and their families) have made for our country, I feel grateful to work for a company in a position to provide this kind of support, and I get to feel their gratitude as they receive something that may offer them a small piece of relief and support as they continue in their professional development.
Finally, TDC went through the process of becoming a recognized vendor with the Veterans Administration. As the employer of over 12,000 social workers, marriage and family therapists, and professional clinical counselors, the VA is huge provider of mental health services and support to our country’s veterans. The process was tedious, but again, just felt like the right thing to do. While this doesn’t change much on our end, it does make it easier for the VA to purchase our materials on behalf of its employees.
We can’t even begin to express our appreciation to all of our troops, whether or not they are social workers, on this Veterans Day 2017. TDC salutes you!
Do you know a veteran or active duty service member who is studying for their licensure exam? If so, please have them contact me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org