UMUC

New Scholarship Program to Support Caregivers of Injured Service Members

UMUC joins with Yellow Ribbon Fund and The Blewitt Foundation to establish Pillars of Strength Scholarship Fund


By Bob Ludwig (bob.ludwig@umuc.edu) |   February 7, 2013

Adelphi, Md.—University of Maryland University College (UMUC) has joined with the Yellow Ribbon Fund and The Blewitt Foundation to establish the Pillars of Strength Scholarship Fund to support volunteer caregivers of our nation's injured service members.

In the inaugural year of the program, two full scholarships to attend UMUC starting with the 2013-14 academic year will be awarded through what is believed to be the only fund of its type that exclusively focuses on honoring volunteer caregivers. The total dollar amount of each scholarship will depend on the academic program chosen by the awardee.

The first scholarships will be announced at special ceremony at UMUC on April 25, 2013.

"We fully understand the tremendous challenges that volunteer caregivers face with helping our country's injured service members recover from serious injuries," said Mark Robbins, executive director of the Yellow Ribbon Fund. "We want to show our gratitude in a meaningful way and we believe this new scholarship program will have a long-lasting, positive impact in their lives."

These volunteer caregivers, who are oftentimes family members or friends, do not receive any educational benefits and some only very limited government financial support for their time. Caregivers often must also interrupt or delay their educational plans to help with recovery and rehabilitation.

"We have found a significant way to both recognize and serve a group that is so critical to the aide and recovery of our injured warriors," said Rich Blewitt, president of The Blewitt Foundation. "The lifetime benefit of a college degree can be great, and it's the least we can do for all those who sacrifice so much."

"UMUC is proud to be part of this new program and provide an opportunity for care-givers to achieve their educational goals," said Javier Miyares, UMUC president. "They have made a tremendous commitment to our injured service members and we are honored to make this commitment to them."

About the Yellow Ribbon Fund
Since 2005, the Yellow Ribbon Fund has provided practical support for injured service members and their families while they're recovering in the Washington, DC, area and after they return to their hometowns. The Bethesda-based nonprofit offers free rental cars, cab rides, hotels, career and educational mentoring, massages for family caregivers, family-friendly outings, and more.

About the Blewitt Foundation
The Blewitt Foundation's primary mission is to provide special comfort, enjoyment and enrichment opportunities for U.S. military families—with a focus on children experiencing loss, serious injury or related anxiety or fear—through partnerships with unique recreational and educational programs.

About University of Maryland University College
University of Maryland University College (UMUC), headquartered in Adelphi, Maryland, is the largest public university in the United States, serving 97,000 students and offering 95 undergraduate and graduate programs online and on-site. UMUC takes pride in its 65-year history of service to the military and currently enrolls an estimated 50,000 military service members, veterans, and their dependents each year.