Bob Woodruff Foundation Awards $48,000 for Operation Education
April 16, 2008
MOSCOW, Idaho – The Bob Woodruff Foundation has awarded a $48,000 grant to the University of Idaho's Operation Education Scholarship Program for use in educating veterans from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan who have sustained traumatic brain injury and/or post-traumatic stress disorder. Operation Education is a comprehensive scholarship program that provides financial, academic and social support to veterans who were disabled while on active duty since Sept. 11, 2001.
"We are grateful for the generosity of the Woodruff family, and their desire to help America's injured veterans and their families overcome barriers and be successful," said Karen White, chair of Operation Education and the University's First Lady. "Injured veterans often need to rethink their plans for the future and adjust to a 'new normal.' Higher education often is a key factor in ensuring a successful future for the injured and their families."
"We have seen firsthand how this program helps our scholars be successful in the classroom and in life, and are very appreciative that the Bob Woodruff Foundation sees the value in what we are doing and is willing to invest in us," White said.
Journalist Bob Woodruff nearly was killed in early 2006 by a roadside bomb in Iraq. As he recovered, he and his family were determined to shed light on the challenges injured service members, veterans and their families face. Together with his family, he created the Bob Woodruff Foundation to raise awareness of “signature injuries” of the war – traumatic brain injury and combat stress – and assist the injured as they navigate their road to recovery. Today, the foundation works with private industry and government to promote excellence in education, prevention, treatment, support, and resources for the injured and their families as they reintegrate back into their communities.
“Traumatic brain injury and combat stress are the hidden injuries of war and it is easy for society to miss the signs and symptoms, and their life-altering consequences,” White said. "The individualized nature of the Operation Education scholarship program makes it ideal for students with traumatic brain injury, PTSD or any other disability to get the assistance they need to overcome their individual challenges and to earn their degree.”
"We are proud to support the unprecedented efforts underway at the University of Idaho," said René Bardorf, executive director of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. "Operation Education tackles the complex issue of educating our injured heroes with a comprehensive and compassionate approach, which individualizes a plan to address their academic, social and financial needs."
The University currently is assisting three veterans with disability through the Operation Education scholarship program. The program provides scholarship assistance for tuition, fees, books and living expenses. Academic and social support includes such things as testing and classroom accommodations, adaptive equipment, tutoring and academic coaching, family and individual counseling, and peer group networking.
Veterans’ spouses also may apply, jointly or individually, to receive the benefits of the Operation Education scholarship program.
Major funding for the scholarship program comes from the private support of University of Idaho alumni and friends, as well as from individuals, corporations and foundations who share the University's interest in assisting America's veterans with disabilities. Gifts in support of Operation Education may be made by calling the University of Idaho: (208) 885-9026.