A newly-created partnership to help military veterans pay for school has been created at College of Western Idaho (CWI). Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1173 in Boise has awarded the CWI Foundation $2,000 for scholarships. The new fund, which is the first time the Post has donated scholarship money to any college in the Treasure Valley, is part of a new effort to support younger veterans—many of whom are returning home from battle.
“We have traditionally spent a lot of our time, efforts, and money supporting older veterans from the Vietnam and Korean War eras,” VFW Post 1173 Commander Rich Cesler said. “Our Quartermaster, who is also a Vietnam veteran, came up with the idea saying we need to do more to support our younger generation of veterans who are now coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Post members unanimously voted to award two $1,000 scholarships to second-year veteran students. Cesler says CWI was chosen as its first recipient because they wanted to maximize their donation in order to help veterans pay for as much of their educations as possible. Last fall, there were 523 degree seeking veterans enrolled at CWI.
“Veterans helping veterans—no one does that better,” Cesler said. “When we donate money, we rarely get to see how it works. With these scholarships, we will be able to see young veterans complete their education, walk down that aisle, and graduate.”
Post 1173 supports veterans through community service and partnerships. The organization, which increased its membership from 25 members two years ago to roughly 225 today, holds fundraising events—primarily with local community partners. Last year, the Post donated more than $33,000 back to the community.
“We have zero operating costs and no overhead, so literally every penny we raise goes back to our community in support,” Cesler said. “We hope to be able to increase our scholarship donation next year so we can help even more veterans.”
The CWI Foundation’s scholarship application period began Feb. 1. The public can donate to any CWI scholarship, including the VFW Post 1173 fund. Visit www.cwidaho.cc/giving-cwi to learn more.
For more information about CWI’s Veterans Services, please visit www.cwidaho.cc/veteran.