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300 Veterans Will Attend NYU's Social Work School Under Starbucks CEO Grant

By Danielle Tcholakian | November 11, 2015 5:11pm
 The chairman, president and CEO of Starbucks gave a $300,000 grant to the NYU Silver School of Social Work to fund the recruitment of and special academic programming for 300 veterans.
The chairman, president and CEO of Starbucks gave a $300,000 grant to the NYU Silver School of Social Work to fund the recruitment of and special academic programming for 300 veterans.
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NYU Silver School of Social Work

GREENWICH VILLAGE — The chairman of Starbucks donated $300,000 to New York University's Silver School of Social Work to help recruit and train 300 veterans and their family members specifically to help other veterans, the school announced on Wednesday.

Starbucks chief Howard Schultz made the donation through the Schultz Family Foundation, which he founded with his wife, Sheri Schultz.

"These men and women have developed valuable skills and have shouldered incredible responsibilities,” Sheri Schultz said in a statement.

Sheri said 1 million veterans are expected to transition into civilian life over the course of the next five years. That's what motivated them to contribute the grant.

“We have a small window of time to ensure that they receive the assistance they need and deserve," she added.

Training the student-veterans specifically to provide social work services to other veterans, through a newly-crafted program, will help meet the needs of the more than 2 million veterans who have returned from active duty since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars began in 2001, the school said.

"We strongly believe that they’ll go on to make a difference as mental health counselors, policy makers, and advocates throughout the profession and on behalf of their fellow veterans,” Silver School Dean Lynn Videka said in a statement.

The graduate degree program at the Silver School costs a total of $41,250 per year for a full-time courseload over two years.

Students can also attend part-time, and pay on average $1,250 per credit. The degree requires the completion of 65 credits.

Undergraduate degrees cost $48,250 per year, according to a spokesman for the school.

NYU already participates in the federal Yellow Ribbon G.I. Education Enhancement program, a scholarship that supplements the money veterans get through the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, which doesn't necessarily cover the full cost of tuition.

In particular, the school will be able to give financial assistance to veterans whose job and family responsibilities make doing the required field work component — which accounts for 25 percent of the Masters in Social Work degree — difficult or imposssible.

Fieldwork is meant to allow the students to both practice the skills they're learning in classrooms and be mentored by people already doing the work they're interested in.

The Schultz Fellows will all be placed with organizations that work with veterans and veterans' families, and the school will coordinate placements with NYC-Serves, a network of public, private and non-profit veterans' organizations.

The overall goal is to recruit and enroll 300 veterans or family members of veterans within the next three years.

This year, as the first step, Silver administrators are putting together a "thinktank" of experts in social work education, graduate school administration, and veterans issues to figure out how to design and implement the recruitment and academic programs.

“Considering the challenges faced by many veterans and their families, we want to help them become fully engaged students of social work," Videka said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the graduate degree requires 33 credits.