The Carolina Veterans Resource Center is offering Boot Print to Heel Print Summer Bridge Awards to UNC students with military backgrounds. Summer 2022 applications are open to any veteran undergraduates, graduates and professional school students.
The award was created to supplement student income over the summer while they work on individual studies.
The award is funded in part by the Kozmetsky Family Foundation — there are 10 $2,500 need-based awards available. The award is intended to be a resource to military-affiliated students on campus and help them connect with peers.
Rob Palermo, program director for the CVRC, spoke about some of the criteria students need to apply for Boot Print to Heel Print.
“We're going to be looking at basically need-based criteria and what the student is planning to do with the award,” Palermo said. “We're asking them to essentially tell us how this is going to further their success and thriving in Carolina."
The award is not a scholarship, he said, but applicants must be in good academic standing and making progress toward their degree. He added that the awards are meant to act as a helping hand to those who are taking summer classes.
The awards will supplement students' summer income and allow them to focus on their studies, Palermo said.
Dean of Students Desirée Rieckenberg said that students are not limited to using the award for supplemental income.
“I think one of the really cool things about this opportunity too is it could also help students who have had a need or want to participate in unpaid internships or other types of experiences,” she said.
She added that because of student veteran status and lack of funding, some students are not otherwise able to access these experiences.
For Rieckenberg, Boot Print to Heel Print is a way to show the University's appreciation for the student veteran population on campus.
“This award is the means to be able to extend and show our support for our student veterans in a way that emphasizes our commitment to retention and student success throughout your first year and beyond until you graduate,” she said.
UNC graduate and student veteran James Chavez said he had a positive experience at the Boot Print to Heel Print New Student Orientation.
New student veterans attend the orientation when they first arrive at the University.
“Honestly, it was phenomenal,” Chavez said. “I made so many friends and friends that I still talk to to this day. Friends that have gone before me that our alumni still talk to, and even current students, which is pretty nice."
Chavez said that there was a certain sense of community that the CVRC provided a safe space for him and for other student veterans.
“It really did like bring us together," he said.
The deadline to apply for a 2022 Boot Print to Heel Print Summer Bridge Award is on April 27 at 5 p.m..
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