Statement by Bruce & Avis Richards:

November 11th, 2015 marks 96 years of celebrating our Veterans. As Americans, we owe everything to these fine men and women who risk their lives to protect our freedom and safety. While Veterans’ Day is an important day to pay tribute to those who have served our nation, the Richards family believes that all of us should consider what more we can do to honor our troops. The Veterans Education Challenge creates a valuable new avenue that Americans can use to pay-it-forward, allowing our Veterans the wonderful opportunity and encouragement to gain a college degree.

The Veterans Education Challenge is dedicated to sending United States Military veterans to college by providing them with needed scholarships that the GI Bill does not cover.  For every dollar up to $1 million raised by the general public, the Richards family will match it, with a guarantee that 100% goes toward veteran scholarships.

We know how valuable our veterans are, both in combat and in the classroom. However, these dedicated and loyal men and women must make big adjustments to enter college in hopes of developing their post-military career. Veterans make up only 4% of the undergraduate college population and the unemployment rate for Veterans is 7.2% compared to the national average of 5.2%. A majority of veterans have a spouse and/or children, so education is an added financial burden that many are hesitant to take. With America’s help, the Veterans Education Challenge will raise college enrollment and the graduation rate, which will undeniably lower unemployment, one Veteran collegiate scholar at a time.

The goal of the fund is to reinforce our veterans’ right to education and their ability to succeed in both higher education and life in general. The fund will support tuition, room and board, and other related and allowable living expenses. All veteran scholarship awards will be based on financial need with a priority and preference to Pell-eligible undergraduate and graduate students. Veterans will be eligible to renew awards based on financial need and standing with the universities.

Help us help them; because it’s not just an education, it’s their career, their future!

Visit us on online:

Twitter: @VetEdChallenge


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NYC Green Festival Round Up

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Eco18 was out and about this past weekend attending  NYC’s Green Festival. This year the festival took place at the Jacob Javits Convention Center and was a celebration of the 45th Anniversary of Earth Day. Companies, brands, services and non-profits all came together to continue to educate about “Green Living” and demonstrate some ingenious ways to incorporate green and sustainable products and practices into your home—wherever and whatever that may be. It just reminded us that we don’t have to live on a sprawling farm to be green. We can buy organic products, practice recycling, be more sustainable and mindful of our planet even in the middle of a huge city like New York. We chose our top 18 picks after sampling some great foods, snacks and beverages. We loved some of the eco-fashions and accessories not only were they incredibly stylish but really practical and wearable.

We always like to give a shout out to a favorite non-profit and this year it’s the Bird’s Nest Foundation. Founder Avis Richards spoke about “Educating from the Ground Up”. The Ground Up Campaign is a nationwide movement to place indoor academic gardens in schools to teach about nutrition. Getting kids involved around 4th Grade, having them participate in the growing of their food is a lesson that carries with them throughout their lives. As Avis said, “Many children have no idea where their food comes from, for many of them it’s the local supermarket. They have never been on a farm, they have never grown anything, so this is a revelation to them.” To date, this 5019(c)3 non-profit foundation has donated academic gardens to over 230 schools across the country, teaching a total of 30,000 students the importance of healthy eating and all-natural agriculture. We will be covering a local New Jersey school to really showcase the amazing work the Bird’s Nest Foundation is doing. Meanwhile, please check out their website and get involved however you can, let’s help them reach their goal of 1,000 schools within the next year.

To read the whole story in ECO 18 - Click here

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