New UTI program to offset expenses for military veterans

Publish Date: 
Nov 12, 2013

PHOENIX, Ariz. - The Universal Technical Institute (UTI) Foundation used the Veterans Day weekend to introduce a scholarship program designed to help veterans pursue certifications in mechanical occupations.

Managed by the Universal Technical Institute Foundation, the program provides grants to cover day-to-day school-related expenses -- including rent, relocation costs, food and child care -- that would otherwise place a financial burden on veterans trying to transition back into civilian life.

"The Military Transition Support program will help ease the financial strain our returning veterans face when trying to manage the oftentimes difficult process of assimilating back into civilian life," said Veronica Meury, UTI Foundation vice president and executive director. "These men and women have served our country in the most admirable way, and we want to remove some of these obstacles so that they can pursue their education and career ambitions."

Penske Racing NASCAR driver Joey Logano helped launch the new program by surprising disabled veteran Starrbuck Long and his family (see photo) with news that they would receive the first disbursement of $5,000 from the program, which was made possible through a donation from the Joey Logano Foundation, and a $500 Shell V-Power gift card from sponsor Shell Oil Co., sponsor of Logano's No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car.

Long, whose disability and full-time enrollment in school prevent him from having a job, has struggled to manage the daily challenges of keeping up with his course work and bills while supporting his wife Jacquelyn, and their two young daughters, Kara and Aurora, according to UTI. The grant will cover five months of rent to help relieve some of the financial burden on the famil, the organization said.

Logano made the presentation in front of 45 military veterans and UTI representatives during the NASCAR Truck Series race at Phoenix International Raceway, where the group received a special VIP experience in honor of Veterans Day.

For more information or to donate to the program, see www.utifoundation.net, http://www.facebook.com/UTIFoundation or @UTIFoundation.

Posted by Holly Wagner