CSU – Pueblo, Home Depot Foundation partner to create Veterans Resource Center

CSU – Pueblo, Home Depot Foundation partner to create Veterans Resource Center

PUEBLO – More than 100 volunteers from The Home Depot and Colorado State University-Pueblo transformed space in the Occhiato University Center to create a new Veterans Resource Center on campus thanks in part to two grants totaling $20,000 in cash donation from The Home Depot Foundation.  Additionally, employees of The Home Depot provided an estimated $20,000 worth of in-kind labor and design services for the project. 

Home Depot VolumteersEmployees from the Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and Denver-area store locations traveled to CSU-Pueblo, most during their personal time, to help with the transformation, according to Veterans Upward Bound Director Chris Beltran. Pueblo store manager and Team Depot Captain, Katie McCranie, surprised the student veterans with a truck load of furniture to complete the project.

Over a two-day period, volunteers repaired the ceiling, installed new flooring, and painted.  They also created a wellness center, office, study area, and kitchen area.  Replacing light fixtures and switch plates and adding a refrigerator and microwave completed the project, making the lounge a home away from home. 

An estimated 500 student veterans will benefit from the new campus amenity.  The project brings CSU-Pueblo in line with the American Council on Education (ACE) recommendations for veteran friendly institutions.  One of ACE’s top recommendations is to create a veteran service center to increase veterans’ comfort level on-campus. 

Home Depot Volumteers“Higher education is the best vehicle to transition veterans from military to civilian life in a satisfying and successful manner.  CSU-Pueblo student veterans that have a good experience will likely tell their veteran friends and hopefully encourage them to attend our University,” said Beltran.
GI Jobs magazine 2013 Military Friendly Schools list ranks CSU-Pueblo among the top 15 percent of the nation’s institutions for its commitment to supporting military students through services, programs, discounts, scholarships, clubs, and networking opportunities.  CSU-Pueblo also is the only four-year school in Colorado to earn a national ranking for its commitment to helping military veterans further their education by Military Times EDGE magazine.

The community will be invited to attend a formal ribbon cutting ceremony in early May.  Details will be released once the time and date have been finalized.

About Veterans Upward Bound
CSU-Pueblo’s Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) provides preparatory classes, academic advising, financial aid assistance, and mentorship to support the increasing number of military service members, veterans, and their families as they transition from military to civilian life.  The VUB program at CSU-Pueblo is unique because of its partnerships with community colleges in Pueblo and Colorado Springs.

About The Home Depot Foundation
The Home Depot Foundation is dedicated to improving the homes of U.S. military veterans through financial and volunteer resources to help nonprofit organizations.  The Foundation has committed $80 million to these efforts over five years.

Through Team Depot, the company’s associate-led volunteer program, thousands of Home Depot associates volunteer their time and talents to positively transform neighborhoods and perform basic repairs and modifications to homes and facilities serving veterans with critical housing needs.

Colorado State University - Pueblo is a regional, comprehensive university emphasizing professional, career-oriented, and applied programs. Displaying excellence in teaching, celebrating diversity, and engaging in service and outreach, CSU-Pueblo is distinguished by access, opportunity, and the overall quality of services provided to its students.