Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has donated $300,000 to the Silver School of Social Work to provide 300 veterans and their family members with the opportunity to attend the school’s graduate program, NYU announced last Wednesday. Motivated by a desire to aid the transition of veterans into civilian life, the donation, which was made through the Schultz Family Foundation, enables NYU’s school to recruit and train veterans through their education program.
Silver dean Lynn Videka expressed gratitude for the donation.
“We’re extremely grateful to the Schultz Family Foundation for their support, and will work to recruit and support 300 veterans and members of their families over the next three years,” Videka said.
Videka said an estimated 1 million veterans are expected to transition into civilian life in the next five years and social work is a perfect field for them.
“We strongly believe they’ll go on to make a difference as mental health counselors, policymakers and advocates in the social work profession and on behalf of their fellow veterans,” Videka said.
This grant is in line with the Schultz Family Foundation’s philanthropic program Onward Veterans, which works to remove barriers to veterans’ health, employment and reintegration of their families.
The goal is to create an academic program that allows veterans to easier transition back into the civilian world. Currently, faculty and administrators at Silver, including experts of social work education and graduate school administration members, are working on designing the academic program.
NYU Military Alliance president Nina Vizcarrondo said Schultz Family Foundation has proven to be allies at a time where student veterans need them.
“Thanks to Starbucks, NYU’s School of Social Work can develop their veteran outreach and hopefully soon become a ‘military friendly’ school, as all NYU schools strive to be,” Vizcarrondo said.
Vizcarrondo added that veterans have a set of skills that better enables them to do social work well.
“The values that are instilled in veterans in boot camp of helping others and placing service before self are as necessary in civilian life,” Vizcarrondo said. “The field of social work allows veterans to continue this mission in the community. By giving back to our veterans, Starbucks has shown us that our service has not been forgotten and is appreciated.”
NYU already participates in the federal Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement program, a scholarship that aids veterans financially does not enough cover Silver’s $41,250 graduate tuition per year.
CAS sophomore Marissa Adler said she thinks this improves NYU’s track record of trying to create as many learning opportunities as possible.
“This donation provides an incredible opportunity for people who definitely deserve it,” Adler said. “NYU has a reputation of financially supporting its students, but this allows the university to take that support to a new level.”
Email Ludovica Grieco at [email protected]