Celebrate Independence Day by Nominating a Veteran for RERF’s National Veterans Stipend

This week’s Industry Voices was written by Natasha Grant, ISRI’s Senior Content Marketing Manager.

Every year on July 4, the United States celebrates Independence Day to commemorate the Declaration of Independence ratified on July 4, 1776. The U.S. has been able to maintain its independence in large part because of the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. These individuals have taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

For years, the Recycling Education and Research Foundation (RERF), a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization associated with ISRI, has recognized U.S. veterans through its annual National Veterans Stipend. Awarded to one veteran a year, the stipend provides educational opportunities to those who served in the U.S armed forces. Recognizing the need for financial aid as veterans seek to complete degrees, the stipend awards up to $8,000. It covers $2,000 per year and is renewable for up to four years or the length of study.

In 2019, RERF awarded the stipend to Army veteran Chris Stevens. Stevens joined the military after graduating high school. In the summer of 2007, he enlisted as an Abrams tank crew member. While at Fort Hood, Texas, he attained several promotions during his many deployments to Iraq. Stevens was awarded the Combat Action Badge and Purple Heart. With his family’s support, Stevens became a Blackhawk helicopter pilot and flew missions for the 1st Infantry Division in Fort Riley, Kan.

When Stevens was awarded the stipend, he was medically retired and working logistics at Fort Rucker, Ala., while a full-time student. His career aspirations involved designing and implementing aircraft parts. Leveraging his schooling of aviation maintenance and his military experiences, he wanted to directly impact the mission of army aviation and help deliver troops safely around the battlefield.

“Receiving this scholarship has enabled me to continue to grow and learn, while supporting my family,” Stevens said. “I hope to have a large impact on others in my Army community, and with the help of these great people, I know I will do just that.”

RERF seeks to continue helping veterans like Stevens reach their educational goals through this stipend, so if you know a veteran pursuing a degree, nominate them. Applications can be submitted via email. Information about the application process for the stipend can be found here. If you have any questions, email ISRI’s Senior Content Marketing Manager, Natasha Grant.