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Local Rotary Club Donates $20,000 to Operation Education


Local Rotary Club Donates $20,000 to Operation Education

The donation from the Rotary Club of Riverside will fund approximately half of the annual operating expenses for the program that helps student veterans.

(July 7, 2011)

Karen White with Tracy Youden incoming president of the Rotary Club of Riverside.Enlarge

Karen White with Tracy Youden incoming president of the Rotary Club of Riverside.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The Rotary Club of Riverside has donated $20,000 to UC Riverside’s Operation Education, the largest contribution to date for the scholarship program that helps honorably separated U.S. military veterans with service-related injuries to earn their college degree.

Supported entirely by private donations, Operation Education supplements GI Bill funding and provides assistance for financial, education and social needs of disabled veterans and their families.

“The Rotary Club of Riverside has a long history of supporting youth and education through scholarships and other programs,” said J. Terrence Moynihan, a local attorney who just completed a yearlong term as president of that organization. “Our club members are attracted to Operation Education because it is a well-focused program that fills a clear education need in our community.”

Karen White, UC Riverside associate of the chancellor, kicked off the program in May 2010. Operation Education is modeled after a program of the same name that was started while her husband, UC Riverside Chancellor Timothy P. White, served as president of the University of Idaho.

The donation from the Rotary Club of Riverside will cover about half of the program’s estimated operational expenses for the coming year, White said.

“This sizable and very generous gift may make the difference between a student veteran dropping out or staying in school. It certainly will have a positive impact on the lives of all our scholars,” said White. “To me, this is a way to say thank you to those men and women who gave so much for our country.”

Last year more than 120 individuals and organizations contributed nearly $33,000 to Operation Education. That amount includes the Rotary Club donation and $3,000 from both the Riverside County Board of Supervisors and the Kiwanis Club of Riverside.

The amount of aid that students receive through the program depends on need and is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Four students received funding during the 2010-11 academic year. One graduated and will begin graduate studies at USC this fall; three others are continuing their education at UC Riverside. White hopes the program will grow by three or four new students each year.

That will depend on the generosity of future donors, she said.

Operation Education is the nation’s leading support program for disabled veterans who are working towards a college degree. It combines the expertise of campus' offices of Veterans Affairs, Financial Aid, the Counseling Center, Student Special Services, faculty advisers and other related campus service offices to provide academic and social support for the scholars and their families.

The long-term goal is to expand the program to local community colleges and universities to develop a stronger and more extensive support system to help disabled veterans in their educational pursuits, said White.

“Obviously this will require more funding and more collaboration among the campuses in our area, but it’s a goal that we’re working toward,” she said. “There is great enthusiasm about this possibility.”

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Karen WhiteEnlarge

Karen White

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The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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