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Student Veterans Receive Sponsorships from Local Organization
Nikasha N Dicks
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Student Veterans Receive Sponsorships from Local Organization

The Aiken-Augusta Wounded Warrior Charity Golf Classic Committee awarded four Aiken Technical College student veterans with Bridge the Gap sponsorships totaling $8,000 during a ceremony May 18.

“It’s not like your normal scholarship where you use it only for books and tuition…The Bridge the Gap sponsorship is designed to bridge the gap between what you get in your (VA education benefits) and what it costs you to go to school,” said Rita Malloy, secretary of the nonprofit organization,. “It’s for living expenses, supporting your family—for things that you need to make it easier for you and to reduce your stress level while completing your education.”

Recipients are nursing student Brian Butler, $2,500; computer technology-networking student Alexander Gantt, $2,000; nursing student Autumn McIntyre, $2,000; and nursing student Michael Dove, $1,500.

The students had to complete an in-depth application process which provided great insight into who the students are and their goals, said Malloy.

“(The application) requires you to take a look at yourself, what you have done, what you are doing, what your goals are, and where do you want to be in 10 years,” she said.

Butler, a resident of Wagener, SC, said the funds will help cover his transportation expenses and living expenses.

“I want to say thank you for reaching out and helping veterans,” he told the group. “There are a lot of expenses when you go back to school that (VA education benefits) doesn’t pay for so I really appreciate this sponsorship.”

Dove, a resident of Augusta, GA, also shared his gratitude for the organization and why he decided to apply.

“It was important for me to cover my expenses whether it was gas, living expenses, food. It will help bridge the gap between (what VA education benefits cover) and the expenses that aren’t taken care of,” he said. “This is something I needed and it’s definitely appreciated.”

ATC President Dr. Susan Winsor thanked the organization for being supportive of the College’s student veterans and advocates for education.

“It’s amazing what a gift like this means to students,” said Dr. Winsor. “One of things I’m always humbled by is what our students are able to do with all of the demands in their life and how they are able to persevere, keep their eyes on the goal and continue on.”

She also thanked the students for their service and provided encouraging words as they continue their studies.

“I thank you both for choosing us and letting us help you be successful in your careers,” she said.

The Aiken-Augusta Wounded Warrior Charity Golf Classic Committee raises funds for sponsorships primarily through an annual golf tournament. It also receives charitable donations throughout the year from individuals and organizations in the area to benefit student veterans.

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