Riverside Healthcare support makes a difference

Riverside Healthcare support makes a difference

Donation benefits Veterans Center

Riverside Healthcare support makes a difference

Posted On: 02/08/21

The Kankakee Community College Veteran’s Resource Center provides military veterans with opportunities for academic excellence and fellowship.

Services of the Veteran’s Resource Center are underwritten by a donation from Riverside Healthcare. Over the last five years, Riverside committed $5,000 per year to veterans at KCC. The final payment of the commitment was made in October, 2020.

“Riverside Healthcare is proud to support KCC’s efforts to offer services to military veterans,” said Phil Kambic, Riverside Healthcare president and CEO. “Given the commitments they’ve made and sacrifices offered for our freedom, this sponsorship is a practical expression of our thanks. We are grateful for the opportunity and applaud KCC in its ongoing efforts.”  

The sponsorship allows the center to offer services to current students and community members who are veterans. The offerings include mentoring programs; information and referrals to community services; and workshops and programs on topics such as life skills, employment, and navigating finances.

In addition, for KCC students who are veterans, there are professional and leadership development opportunities, dedicated tutoring services, an emergency fund, and annual Veteran Stole Ceremony to recognize graduating service members.
Ron Griffin, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and 2019 KCC graduate, said the center was a “huge perk.” 

“It's a great spot for hanging out, getting some snacks, studying, or just taking a much needed break,” Griffin said. “The best part about it is that it has provided me a place to meet other veteran or military connected students, staff, and members of the community; and it has been a helpful medium for all of us toward building a network and supporting each other.”

An active duty member of the Illinois National Guard, Shyanne Jackson said she has used several of KCC’s veteran’s services, including the Veteran’s Center. 
“I’ve met other vets and heard their stories and connected with some of them,” Jackson said. “I even saw faces I thought I’d never see again. I will continue to choose KCC for as long as I can, because I know I will be taken good care of.”

KCC Veterans are also giving back to the community.

Members of KCC’s Student Veterans Association have held multiple fundraisers and donated the proceeds to causes including Project Headspace & Timing, American Veterans Service Dog Academy (AVSDA), the Movember Foundation, the Chicago Ruck March, and the Purple Heart Foundation. 

KCC also has been selected by GI Jobs magazine as a Military Friendly School for the 2020-21 school year. KCC is one of only 11 community colleges in Illinois chosen for this honor.

More information about services for veterans and the Veteran’s Resource Center is available from Kendra Souligne, KCC coordinator of financial aid and veteran’s services, ksouligne@kcc.edu, or 815-802-8550.

Pictured above: Two veterans and KCC graduates: John Fulton '81 and Maria Cariaga '17.

Recent Veteran’s Resource Center events

Veterans’ Recognition – Collections to help Manteno Veteran’s Home
The KCC Veteran’s Resource Center collaborated with Eric Peterson from Project Headspace & Timing to collect needed items, wrote cards, and gathered videos of people saying “Hello” and “Thank you for your service” to the veterans at the Manteno Veterans Home. The collection event was held in place of a Veteran’s Day Recognition Ceremony.
“Due to COVID, many veterans at the Veterans’ Home have been quite limited when it comes to visits from their family and friends,” said Kendra Souligne, KCC coordinator of financial aid and veterans services. “We wanted to be sure to send some joy their way.”

Christmas Trees for every room at the Manteno Veterans’ Home
The KCC Veterans Association and Project Headspace & Timing purchased and delivered 120 Christmas trees and holiday cards for each resident at the Manteno Veterans Home. “This holiday season we were able to collaborate with Project Headspace & Timing to spread some holiday cheer with our area’s heroes at the Manteno Veterans Home,” said Kendra Souligne. “We are truly grateful for their service and want them to know we are thinking of them this holiday season.” 

About the KCC Veteran’s Resource Center

  • Opened: Oct. 3, 2016
  • Mission:
    • A calm, quiet environment to work on projects, homework, and other course-related tasks.
    • A social area to share stories, create professional/personal relationships, and relax from the rigors of college life.
    • A place to find community resources/opportunities.
  • Programming is driven by Student Veterans’ Association members and the Veteran’s Resource Center student assistant. It includes educational events and fundraisers to support causes which benefit veterans.
  • Veterans served: About 60 per year.
  • The Veteran’s Resource Center is just one of the services KCC offers veterans. More information is at www.kcc.edu/veterans.