2019 Winners

OVERALL $50,000 AWARD:

Quality of Life Plus (QL+)

Quality of Life Plus Program, McLean, VA

The Quality of Life Plus Program provides America’s injured patriots with individualized, functional and affordable assistive technologies to increase their mobility beyond what is provided by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. They do this by supporting engineering students at 18 universities helping them develop solutions that give veterans with disabilities greater mobility and independence.  These quality of life improvements are provided at no cost to the veteran. QL+ recruits veterans,

identifies challenges that can be addressed by students as a senior design project, and together

with faculty advisors, monitors the projects to completion. For more information, contact Charlie Kolb (Charlie.kolb@qlplus.org) or visit www.qlplus.org.  

 

$37,500 AWARDS:

 Hope For The Warriors

Drive for Hope, Springfield, VA

In collaboration with the Driver Rehabilitation Center of Excellence, the Drive for Hope program supports comprehensive driving rehabilitation services designed to help service members and veterans regain the independence that was lost as a result of injury or illness. From working with medical providers to behind-the-wheel training in adaptive vehicles, Drive for Hope will be there every step of the way.  It is the only non-profit in the Nation to offer and fund a comprehensive driver rehabilitation program. All services will be offered at no cost to the participants. A significant gap in services exist within the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs related to driver’s rehabilitation and access to related services. The magic of this program is that all aspects – rehabilitation and vehicle modification - exist in one location.   For more information, contact Natalie Kanellopoulos (nkanellopoulos@hopeforthewarriors.org) or visit www.hopeforthewarriors.org. 

 

Stack Up

Stack Up Overwatch Program (StOP), Sylmar, CA

The Stack Up Overwatch Program (StOP) is an innovative suicide prevention and crisis intervention initiative that uses online gaming to connect veterans with trained, certified StOP members via Stack Up’s Discord channel—a popular tool that allows online gamers to communicate in real time. StOP members provide immediate mental health intervention and assistance, with the goal to de-escalate the crisis and provide referrals to resources within the veteran’s local community. While previous generations of veterans found support and camaraderie by gathering in person, post-9/11 veterans have developed online communities that include online gaming as a source of community and trauma relief. Discord is a powerful digital tool for suicide prevention and mental health awareness. StOP is at the forefront of the mental health wellness trend, providing support and referrals to veterans who need it, when they need it, even if it's just someone to talk to or game with.  For more information, contact Mat Bergendahl (mat.b@stack-up.org) or visit www.stackup.org. 

The Rosie Network

Service2CEO, Ramona, CA 

The Service2CEO initiative is a 12-month individualized entrepreneurship and financial literacy training program for military spouses, veterans and transitioning service members housed in a shared office environment in the Military Entrepreneur Development Center (MEDC) in San Diego and Rosie Chapters across the US. Participants choose one of two tracks - launch or grow, with the opportunity to choose an

accelerator track based on their business model and position for growth. Many military entrepreneurial programs focus on specialty areas such as high tech, or only for eligible veterans, the Rosie Network was the first to offer entrepreneurial programs specifically geared towards military spouses and continue to have more than 60% spouses as Service2CEO members. What sets them apart is their inclusivity of clients -- all branches of service, all sizes/industries of business, any military spouse, veteran or

transitioning service member looking to launch or grow a business.  For more information, contact Leona Sublett (lsublett@therosienetwork.org) or visit www.therosienetwork.org. 

 

Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Military Family Wellness Center (MFWC), New York, NY

Military caregivers and spouses are more likely than civilians to experience mental health problems such as depression. The MFWC provides mental health assessment and treatment to those who do not qualify for, do not benefit from, or feel reluctant to use traditional providers. Roughly 25% of the Center’s patients are adult family members of veterans including spouses, adult children, and others. 

The MFWC is distinguished for its ease of access, cost-free services, minimal bureaucracy, confidentiality, and a wide range of high-quality treatment options. Another unique attribute, they offer tele-mental health services, making mental health care accessible to patients who are unable to come to in-person appointments.  For more information, contact Takeisha Hall-Ruff (th2187@columbia.edu) or visit https://www.cuimc.columbia.edu/.