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 WHAT IS SENTINELS OF FREEDOM?

Sentinels of Freedom is a national nonprofit organization that helps severely wounded post-9/11 veterans successfully transition to civilian life by providing comprehensive personal support and removing financial obstacles. Our work helps these brave individuals complete their education, find career-focused employment, and gain financial independence. We complement their own individual drive, motivation, and positive attitude with meaningful assistance. Our support ranges from housing and living subsidies to financial coaching to mentoring and career transition assistance. We help fill the gaps to ensure these brave individuals can achieve success in their post-military journey.

WHAT DOES THE SENTINEL'S BRIDGE FOR EDUCATION INCLUDE?

The Bridge for Education is a multiyear comprehensive support program that focuses support in the following areas:
 
EDUCATION
Veterans in our program are required to continue their formal education in line with their capabilities and goals. Education must be through a VA approved school.
 
HOUSING
We may provide a nominal housing subsidy for up to two years paid directly to the housing provider to relieve financial stress and allow our Sentinels to focus their attention on furthering their education.
 
MENTORING
We facilitate the identification of potential mentors and introductions to individuals who can assist in professional planning and personal and career development throughout the program term and as alumni.

CAREER & NETWORKING ASSISTANCE
During the program and as alumni the Sentinels are presented with various networking opportunities to further their career path and can be introduced to prospective employers.

FINANCIAL COACHING & PLANNING
Free financial coaches and planners are available to each Sentinel. This can be by request or it may be required by SOF due to financial circumstances of the individual. The planners will help the Sentinel to establish basic budgeting skills and learn how to build up their financial worth.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE SENTINEL'S BRIDGE FOR EDUCATION?

  • Member of any branch of the armed forces, active, guard or reserves who has been wounded or injured, in a combat or training related event post 9/11. 
  • Received a permanent VA disability rating of 50% or higher as listed on their VA Rating Statement.
  • Have received or will be receiving an honorable discharge.
  • Must be enrolled or planning to enroll in full-time postsecondary education or vocational school. Must be a VA approved school (SOF can be flexible on the full-time requirement in certain circumstances, depending on the level of injury and ability to maintain full-time education).
  • Highly motivated individuals with the drive to reach personal, educational and career goals.
  • Must be willing to actively engage with mentor and networking opportunities provided by SOF.


 WHEN SHOULD I APPLY?

We have two application windows: 
Window #1 (for fall semster): Applications accepted until June 1. 
The accepted applications will be notified in late July for August school start. 

Window #2 (for spring semeser): Applications accepted until November 1. 
The accepted applicants will be notified in late December for January school start. 
Applications may be submitted at anytime, but will only be reviewed after the two primary review deadlines. 

Complete the online application package which Includes:

  • Authorization for Disclosure
  • Request for Information Packet- Personal & Military information, including housing, education, and injury information
  • Personal Statement outlining education, career, and personal goals 
  • Financial Worksheet
  • Photograph & Video release
  • Two Photographs
  • DD 2-14 (Only Member 4 Form will be accepted)
  • Letter of recommendation
  • College transcripts, if applicable
  • VA Rating Statement
  • Background/ Credit Report

Once your completed application is submitted SOF will schedule a phone interview.  

WHAT IS A SENTINELS OF FREEDOM MERIT BASED GRANT?

A one-time monetary award of $1,000 to be used for educational purposes, such as books, computers, tutoring expenses, etc.
A general assistance grant focuses on support in the following areas:
 
FINANCIAL PLANNING 
We may facilitate the free financial coaching; the coach will help establish basic financial goals and steps to meet them by request
 
MENTORING & NETWORKING ASSISTANCE
We may facilitate the identification of potential mentors who can assist in professional planning, and personal and career development and Sentinels can be presented with various networking opportunities to further their career path by request 

EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE                                                                                                              Employment or resume assistance may also be available by request

ELIGIBILITY

  • Member of any branch of the armed forces, active, guard or reserves who has been wounded or injured, in a combat or training related event post 9/11.                                     
  • Received a permanent VA disability rating of 30% or higher as listed on their VA Rating Statement
  • Have received an honorable discharge
  • Must be enrolled in full-time post-secondary education or vocational school. Must be a VA approved school.
  • Have completed at least two years of higher education with a minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Highly motivated to reach personal, educational and career goals
  • Must be willing to actively engage with Sentinels of Freedom
 
APPLICATION PROCESS 
We have two application windows: 
Window #1 (during spring semster): Applications accepted until April 1. 
The accepted applications will be notified and receive the grant in late May.

Window #2 (during fall semeser): Applications accepted until September 1. 
The accepted applicants will be notified and recieve the grant in late October.
Applications may be submitted at anytime, but will only be reviewed after the two primary review deadlines. 

Complete the online application package which Includes:
  • Authorization for Disclosure
  • Personal Statement outlining education, career and personal goals and what the grant assistance will be used for and how it will help further your goals (300-500 words)
  • Photograph & Video Release
  • Two Photographs
  • DD 2-14 (Only Member 4 Form will be accepted)
  • VA Rating Statement
  • Transcripts for the last two years
  • Letter of Recommendation

*If you are already a Sentinel receiving the Bridge for Education you are not eligible for this program.