Friday, April 18, 2014

"Happy" Friday Videos, Careercast for Veterans, Family Caregivers, Veterans Fire Corps Summer Jobs


Happy Friday, here’s the worldwide “Happy” video compilation: http://youtu.be/2MDReKsP3sQ  And here's an article featuring one with Scottish soldiers in Afghanistan, if you prefer a 'military version': http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2535913/Scottish

Job Talk: Here’s a website worth bookmarking if you are looking for a job or a new career: http://veteran.careercast.com/ Here’s their take on the ‘Best Jobs for Veterans in 2014’ at: http://veteran.careercast.com/article/best-jobs-veterans-2014

Family caregivers for wounded warriors are discussed in this article, which gives some additional resources and links: http://www.militaryonesource.mil/wounded-warrior?content_id=276551

Veterans Interested in Fire Fighting: The Veterans Fire Corps provides participants with essential training, credentials, and experience to competitively pursue a career in wildland fire and forestry.  See: http://www.thesca.org/serve/program/veterans-opportunities Participants will work in teams in South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and Arizona, where members build camaraderie with other veterans and emerging conservation professionals who share a passion for service.  Projects may include participation on prescribed fires, fuels reduction, fire effects monitoring, and pre-fire preparation of burn units. Positions begin May 25, 2014.  See more at: http://youtu.be/rSFLef6KqSI




Wednesday, April 16, 2014

VA e-Benefits Portal Tour, Growing Careers for Veterans, Links for Veterans Interested in Agriculture


The VA e-Benefits portal has been improved, and a new video explains the changes at: http://youtu.be/_IFq_r3Nu4g

Focus on Food Production:  The May issue of National Geographic magazine has a very informative article on five steps we can take to improve our ability to feed the world at: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/feeding-9-billion/  Those five steps, according to the article, are: freeze the amount of land used for agriculture, grow more on existing farms, use resources more effectively, shift diets, and reduce waste.

The Nat Geo article also mentions the aging of our nation’s farmers, which the USDA discussed on their blog, along with encouraging Veterans into the agricultural industry: http://www.outreach.usda.gov/veterans.htm

And the benefits for healing through ‘hands in dirt’ is discussed here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/hands-on-healing-for-military-veterans-1113131

Veterans interested in agriculture, here are a few good links for you:
* http://www.farmvetco.org/archives/2872
* http://www.start2farm.gov/usda/programs
* http://www.startgrants.com/options-on-farm-grants-for-veterans-programs.php
* http://veteranstofarmers.org/
* http://www.beginningfarmers.org/beginning-farmer-training-programs/military-veteran-farmer-training/
* And for Agriculture and Viticulture programs and classes at Yavapai College, see: https://www.yc.edu/v5content/academics/divisions/ctec/agriculture.htm or http://viticulture.yc.edu/
* If you’re a Northern Arizona Veteran, don’t forget the free services of our Veterans Upward Bound program can help you get set for success with finding your new career and educational programs.  Contact us at 928-717-7686 or www.yc.edu/vub

Here's another video about the Viticulture and Enology (grape growing and wine making) programs at Yavapai College's Verde Valley campus: http://youtu.be/CvYUXylpC3U


Monday, April 14, 2014

National Native American Games, Native Women Warriors, Internet Favorites, Manufacturing Career Webinar, Veteran Mentoring Program


The Lori Piestewa National Native American Games will be held in July, see more at: http://www.gcsg.org/events/nativegames/   Indian Country magazine featured a great article about Native American Women Warriors at: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/04/03/warriors-heart-some-native-women-who-served-military-154298  Arizona’s hero, Lori Piestewa was mentioned in the article.

Finding your Favorites: Whether you are a ‘pro’ at surfing the internet or a novice, there is an overwhelming amount of material out there.  You can make it more manageable by bookmarking your favorite sites, so you don't get lost.  TED Talks are short videos by experts in a variety of subjects – you can search for just what you want to hear about at: https://www.ted.com/talks/browse?sort=newest by topic.  You can even create a free account to manage all your favorites or talks you’d like to watch later.  Some other favorites are BBC Nature at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/ if you like learning about nature, animals, or the environment, or http://www.pbs.org/ to see PBS shows.

On April 21 at 11 a.m. Arizona time, “hang out” (online) with Gary Sinise and discuss how veterans are rebuilding America post-service by training for and entering careers in advanced manufacturing. Gary has been heavily involved in Get Skills to Work, an initiative co-founded by GE, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Alcoa, and The Manufacturing Institute, focused on training and hiring veterans to bridge the skills gap in advanced manufacturing. Get Skills to Work seeks to leverage highly skilled and adept veterans to revitalize a resurgent US manufacturing sector and contribute to the advanced manufacturing industry.
Gary and industry experts will discuss the program, its goals for the country and the industry, and how veterans can identify and pursue education and careers related to advanced manufacturing.  See more at: https://plus.google.com/events/co4jdjo4ocstnfipe9sn71dafhs And if this webinar spurs your interest in the manufacturing field, check out the Career & Technical Certificate and Degree programs at Yavapai College at: www.yc.edu/ctec

Got Career Questions?  You can find out more about a Veteran Mentoring Program at: http://www.acp-usa.org/  You can be a mentor, or ask questions of the many folks from top businesses across the country.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Aviation Careers for Veterans, Job Fair, Money Tools, Helping Veterans Become Students, Pat Tillman Run 4/26


The Prescott Job/Career Fair got a lift from Guidance Helicopter as it highlighted the flight school with a dramatic entrance at: http://youtu.be/oJJ1JVDAt1o  Yavapai College has several aviation-related programs (Pilot, Aviation Operations, Unmanned Aircraft) that are popular with Veterans – see more at: www.yc.edu/aviation  Reminder: The Verde Valley Job Fair is this Wednesday, 4/9 from 9-2 at the Verde Valley Fairgrounds in Cottonwood.

Money Tools: Not everyone has learned how to budget, make credit decisions, or make a long-term financial plan, but there is help!  “Feed the Pig” is an organization dedicated to providing free tools to help us increase our piggy bank (savings) – see more at: http://www.feedthepig.org/  This is especially helpful if you are a college student, or have plans to buy/rent a home or car, or have some credit problems/no credit history, or dream of retiring but aren’t sure how to afford it.

Many schools are making it easier for Veterans to navigate their websites and prepare for applying to the university and for their educational benefits.  Here are a few examples of ‘Veteran-friendly landing pages’ at NAU (http://nau.edu/Military-Veteran-Education/), ASU (https://veterans.asu.edu/), ODU (http://odu.edu/military/students/veterans-services), and Yavapai College (www.yc.edu/veterans)  Not sure how to get started?  The Veterans Upward Bound program can help you learn the ropes so you can start college confidently!  Contact us at www.yc.edu/vub or 928-717-7686.

The Pat Tillman Run is coming up on April 26th – runners, volunteers, and supporters can check out the details at: http://pattillmanfoundation.org/pats-run/ or view: http://youtu.be/a3OsR33xaeo


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Verde Valley Job Fair April 9, Small Business Services in Yavapai County, Soldier Suicide Report, Soldier's Best Friend Presentation April 9, Vietnam Veterans Day Riders


Verde Valley Job, Career & Education Fair is next Wednesday, April 9 from 9:00-2:00, at the Verde Valley Fairgrounds at 12th & Cherry Streets in Cottonwood.  The Fair is once again being offered through the combined efforts of the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce, DES Employment Services, NACOG, and Yavapai College – and over 50 employers and educational programs will be there to accept job applications or chat about careers.  Bring your resume and dress in interview clothes to make a good first impression.

Free services for local small businesses throughout Yavapai County are highlighted by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Director Kurt Haskell.  "The entrepreneurial spirit in the Verde is exceptional," added Haskell. "Working with the Chambers, SCORE, Cottonwood Economic Development Council, Spur Ventures, and other partners we will create a supportive environment for business." Verde Valley businesses seeking assistance are advised to contact the Yavapai Small Business Development Center at 928-776-2008, www.yc.edu/sbdc or the Cottonwood Business Assistance Center at 928-340-2740.  Services are also provided in the Prescott/quad-cities area.  See more at: https://www.yc.edu/articles/YC-Increases-Business-Assistance-in-the-Verde-Valley/3505

Dr. Daniel Amen reports on a recent study of soldier suicides on his blog at: http://www.amenclinics.com/dr-amen/blog/2014/03/soldier-suicides-massive-study-sheds-light-on-vulnerability-risk/  Key findings that may contribute to the suicide risk factors include: Approximately 25% of soldiers shared behaviors that may be characterized as depression, anxiety, PTS; and 11% had explosive anger issues (9% higher than civilian population.)

Soldier's Best Friend is an Arizona based non-profit organization dedicated to providing veterans living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) with a trained Service or Therapeutic Companion Dog; many of these dogs are rescued from local shelters. "Soldier's Best Friend - Helping Our Veterans and Shelter Dogs" will be the topic at Keep Sedona Beautiful, Inc.'s meeting on Wednesday, April 9 at 5:45 p.m.. Starr Ladehoff, professional dog trainer, will be the presenter.  For more information about Keep Sedona Beautiful, please call (928) 282.4938, or visit http://www.keepsedonabeautiful.org/

On March 30, the American Legion Post 93 and the American Legion Riders Post 93 sponsored the third annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day. This year's event was held at Fort Verde State Park, with a full color guard and an impressive motorcycle procession from Sedona through Cottonwood and on to Fort Verde for the event.

Monday, March 17, 2014

VUB Video, VA Tribal Government Veterans Summit 3/20, YC Master Plan Meeting 3/20, Prescott College Veteran Supportive Designation, Mental Health Text Event 4/24


Your local Veterans Upward Bound program is test-driving a commercial to get more Northern Arizona Veterans to take advantage of the free college-preparation services we offer!  Check it out at: http://youtu.be/Ex8um0QxuBg and feel free to share with any Veterans you know.

On March 20 – 21, the VA’s Office of Tribal Government will host its annual Southwest Region Training Summit for tribal leaders, veterans, veteran service providers, and tribal health directors.  The Summit will take place at the Twin Arrows Navajo Resort and Casino near Flagstaff.  More than twenty speakers and program representatives will be on hand to provide information on benefits and services.  For additional information, please contact LoRae HoMana Pawiki, Tribal Government Specialist, at Lorae.Pawiki@va.gov or (928) 776-5306.

More information about Yavapai College’s Master Plan will be provided at the Sedona Public Library on Thursday, March 20th at 7 p.m. – or check out the new webpage dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date information at: http://masterplan.yc.edu/

Congratulations to Prescott College: The first private college in Arizona certified by the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services (ADVS) as a Veteran Supportive Campus.   “We strive to make Arizona the most veteran-friendly state in the union” noted Governor Jan Brewer. “I commend Prescott College for voluntarily choosing to qualify as Arizona’s first, private, Veteran Supportive Campus. I encourage all of our private institutions of higher education to follow Prescott College’s lead so that we may better meet the needs of our brave men and women that have fought to secure our freedoms.” With all programs based in the liberal arts, the environment and social justice, Prescott College’s small class sizes and award-winning experiential and practical based learning approach offers an option otherwise not available in Arizona or much of the Nation.

April 24th: Text, Talk, Act to Improve Mental Health is an hour-long event that uses text messaging to get people talking about mental health and encourage them to take action. Learn more at: www.bit.ly/texttalkact  It’s easy to participate:
1. At any time on April 24th, gather 3-4 of your friends, family, classmates,  students, and/or colleagues;
2. Text "start" to 89800; and
3. Receive polling questions and discussion questions via text messaging while having a face-to-face dialogue with your group.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March 7th Hear AZ Candidates for Governor, Gold Star Kid, Cosmos Returns, Pat Tillman Scholarship Deadline March 6, Federal Student Aid Info


Hear the Candidates for Governor: Attend the First Gubernatorial Debate in Northern Arizona, this Friday, March 7th at 6 PM.  The candidates’ forum will be live at the Performing Arts Center at Prescott Campus (1100 E. Sheldon) and streamed to the Community Room (M-137) at the Verde Valley Campus (601 Black Hills Drive in Clarkdale).  The focus of the debate is ‘Connecting the Dots:  Education…Economic Development…Quality of Life’.  Learn more about these candidates so you can become an informed voter.

Today’s inspirational story comes from Stripes.com, about an 8 year old ‘Gold Star kid’ named Myles, who made one soldier’s day.  Maybe it will inspire you to 'Pay it Forward' to another?  Read more at: http://www.stripes.com/blogs/stripes-central/stripes-central-1.8040/8-year-old-boy-honors-soldier-with-20-and-note-of-thanks-1.271077

If you want to expand your science knowledge, there is a new version of the television show “Cosmos” (originally featuring Carl Sagan, now featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson) that will start on Sunday, March 9th.  This show will feature all sorts of exciting new developments in science and space, see more at: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/cosmos-a-spacetime-odyssey/

Reminder that the Pat Tillman Scholarship deadline is this week: March 6th – find out more at: http://pattillmanfoundation.org/apply-to-be-a-scholar/

It’s that time of year when new and continuing students need to apply for their student financial aid.  Not familiar with that process?  Here’s a quick lesson about the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” (also known as FAFSA or the Pell Grant), which can help low-income students pay for tuition at accredited colleges and universities: http://youtu.be/c-23SMf5DyQ Our Veterans Upward Bound program can help Veterans apply for this funding, as well as your GI Bill Educational Benefits and college admission.  Not sure of where to go or which certificate or degree to pursue?  We can help with education and career planning too.  If you are a Veteran in Northern Arizona, let us help get you ready for the college you want to attend.