From Napa Valley Register: Community Foundation gives scholarships to veterans

November 8, 2013 12:30 PM • Register Staff •

In honor of Veterans Day, Napa Valley Community Foundation has announced that a scholarship program for veterans will see a 38 percent increase in its budget this year.

The George and Gwendolyn Goodin Scholarship Fund, which gives college and university scholarships to Napa County residents who are military veterans and/or dependents of military veterans who died while in active duty, is a permanent endowment that was established with a gift from the estate of George and Gwendolyn Goodin, longtime residents of Yountville.

The fund awarded money for the first time in 2013, and six local veterans were given a total of $14,500. All of the recipients attended Napa Valley College.

One of the students was a resident of The Pathway Home program, a residential treatment program in Yountville for male veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries.

A volunteer committee comprised of local veterans and professionals who work with veterans was established by the Community Foundation to determine guidelines and make award decisions.

There are approximately 11,000 veterans in Napa County, 1,500 of whom have service connected disabilities. At Napa Valley College, there are approximately 218 veterans enrolled.

Scholarship recipient Bobby Aguilar said his grant allowed him to buy supplies for his EMT/paramedic program. “Often the benefits that we receive don’t cover these types of expenses and I appreciate the flexibility,” he said.

Ryan Joel B. Mintalar, another recipient, said his scholarship will “help me financially to reach and go beyond my goals as I transition from the military life to the civilian life.”

George Goodin had a career in the U.S. Army, retiring in 1964 as a chief warrant officer IV. Because of his experience in the military and their shared devotion to Napa Valley, the Goodins decided to create a permanent scholarship fund for veterans in our community, the Community Foundation said in a news release.

“This fund is an example of how the Community Foundation helps donors support the issues they care about most in Napa County, even after they’re gone,” said foundation president Terence Mulligan. “We are truly honored to be able to help local veterans achieve their education goals and to live healthy, productive lives after they return home.”

The scholarship program is run on an annual basis. For 2014, $20,000 is available to be awarded. Veterans and their qualifying dependents are encouraged to visit napavalleycf.org after Dec. 5 to learn more about applying for a scholarship.

Members of the community who would like to contribute to the George and Gwendolyn Goodin Scholarship Fund may also do so by visiting the NVCF website listed above or by calling 707-254-9565.

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