OCTOBER 20, 2021 — Four UTSA student veterans have been awarded $5,000 in grants provided by the Grunt Style Foundation to support their journeys in higher education. McKenzie Baker, Dustin Carter, Louis Martinez and BreeShay Williams will each receive a $1,250 grant that will supplement any tuition payments and personal expenses not covered by the G.I. Bill.
Each grant was made possible through a partnership with the UTSA Office of Veteran and Military Affairs and the Grunt Style Foundation—which receives funding from the veteran-operated apparel company Grunt Style.
The Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (VMA) has cultivated a close relationship with the Grunt Style Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on issues of mental health and wellness, transition and sustainment, food insecurities and homelessness for military and veteran communities. Those values closely align with the unique support model offered by VMA, which functions as the single consolidated hub for engagement, services, educational benefits, advocacy, innovation and collaboration for all military-affiliated students at UTSA.
“We strive to go beyond a simple ‘thank you for your service’ and do everything possible to make the student veteran journey at UTSA a rewarding, satisfying and overall outstanding experience,” said Michael Logan ’10, M.Ed. ’11, Ph.D. ’19, Marine Corps veteran and UTSA’s senior director of veteran and military affairs. “We can’t thank the Grunt Style Foundation enough for these grants and helping us in our mission to provide comprehensive support for UTSA’s military-affiliated students.”
A check for $5,000 was presented to the students on October 14 at the Center for Military Affiliated Students at the John Peace Library, and each recipient stressed the importance of this financial support as they pursue their degrees at UTSA.
Baker is an Air Force veteran who came to UTSA to study psychology with the ultimate goal of becoming a therapist. “I found a passion for helping people with mental health and substance abuse issues and wanted to learn how to do more to help these people,” Baker said. She’ll use the grant funding to pay for books for the upcoming semester and cover personal expenses while she attends UTSA full-time.
Carter is a psychology major who was also inspired to improve the mental health of his peers. “I have witnessed too many brothers and sisters in arms suffering with various mental disorders. My goal is to be there to help them,” he said. Carter, an Army veteran, will use the grant funding to help pay for childcare costs as he attends UTSA.
Martinez’s path to the university had a few more twists and turns. He originally applied to UTSA in 2013, but ultimately joined the Army, where he reached the rank of sergeant in less than two-and-a-half years. Upon the end of his term of service, he began a construction company that exclusively employed veterans. Looking to expand upon his engineering knowledge and professional development, he applied to UTSA again. “I was accepted and was overjoyed to begin my major college career at such a great university, pursuing a mechanical engineering degree,” he said. The grant will help him cover utilities and other personal expenses.
Williams is taking classes at UTSA to continue her education in nursing, a career for which she has long been passionate. “Due to the unfortunate circumstances of the pandemic, I felt that I would be the most helpful to my community and society as a whole in the nursing field,” she said. Williams will use the financial assistance to pay for tuition and associated fees.
About 15% of UTSA’s total student population—or 5,000 students—are active-duty military members, veterans, reserves/guard, ROTC or military-connected family members. VMA’s efforts and staunch institutional support have earned UTSA recognition as both a Best for Vets university and a Gold Military Friendly School.
Come celebrate the doctoral students graduating this commencement season.H-E-B Student Union Ballrooms, UTSA Main Campus
Celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates of the College for Health, Community and Policy, College of Liberal and Fine Arts and College of Sciences.Alamodome, 100 Montana St, San Antonio, TX 78203
Celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates of the Carlos Alvarez College of Business, College of Education and Human Development, Margie and Bill Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design and University College.Alamodome, 100 Montana St, San Antonio, TX 78203
First Friday Stargazing gives anyone free access to the night sky using university telescopes and teaching equipment. Weather permitting, experienced astronomers will provide a handful of telescopes of varying designs, give training on how each operates, and point to various astronomical objects that may appear in the sky for that given time of the year. If you have a telescope and do not know how to operate it, feel free to bring it and get instructions on its use.4th Floor of Flawn Science Building, Main Campus
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