Alex’s Education Journey: Reflections & Tips by a Military Connected Youth with Disabilities

Alex is a young man who considers himself a “military brat”; he grew up in an Air Force family. He’s also one of the Branch’s military-connected consultants who help us with research, writing, and their lived experiences in the military community. Alex is an individual living with a disability which did not significantly affect his education.

Here is Alex’s education journey:

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Scholarships! Financial Resources for Military and Non-military Youth with Disabilities

A college education can be extremely expensive, and debt from student loans can impact students and their families for years. Military parents may have financial challenges paying for college as military salaries and benefits don’t always stretch to cover today’s higher education costs. Earning scholarships is an excellent way to lower future monthly payments; some scholarship awards completely cover annual college expenses!

Below are two resources: scholarships for military-connected youth, and scholarships for youth with disabilities. The lists include awards for two- and four-year undergraduate degrees, graduate studies and vocational programs. All scholarships are national in scope; a few are international. Youth and their families may find scholarships that fit their needs or inspiration for a further search. Parent centers:  feel free to select and share the most relevant scholarships for the families you serve. These lists are great for youth outreach, email campaigns, social media, workshops, support groups, resource fairs and newsletters.

3 Quick Resources for Military Families Moving Overseas

Military parents whose children have disabilities may have concerns about moving their child from a stateside school (public or Department of Defense) to a school in another country where their school options are limited and laws protecting individuals with disabilities are not the same. Here are three quick resources for these parents to give them a jump-start on their research and decision-making:

Military Families Overseas: Does ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Apply?

Military Children Transitioning into the DoDEA School System (podcast from the Military Child Education Coalition, with Dr. Dell W. McMullen, Europe Director for Student Excellence, Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA)

Department of Defense Directory on Early Intervention, Special Education and Related Services in OCONUS Communities (“OCONUS” – Outside the Continental United States)

And here is some more in-depth information about Department of Defense Education Activity schools and Special Education:

Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) School System

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Help for Grandparents and Other Temporary Caregivers of Military Children-with Handout

It’s fairly common for military-connected children to stay with other family members or family friends when their parent’s military duties take them away for extended periods.  Parents will try to anticipate what the caregiver will need but life has a way of inserting the unexpected. Parent centers can use these resources to help:

  • Military parents planning for their child’s time away
  • Long- and short-term temporary caregivers

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Outreach Tips-Military Families and Their Unique Culture

Your parent center uses culturally-appropriate outreach on a regular basis to engage parents and youth in underserved communities. Military life creates a unique culture for service members and their families-a culture just as distinct as that of an ethnic or linguistic community. We hope this resource with tips from military family members helps you in your outreach and services to military families.

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16 Financial Resources for Military Families-with Handout

Military families with whom you are working or who contact your parent center might find the resources in this article very helpful. Included in this article is a link to a parent-friendly handout with the same resources. Resources focus on national-level services available in every state. There are also resource-finders for some of the most common military family needs, especially as they are entering or leaving a community. Some are military-specific while others are open to civilian and military alike. Read online, or download the article and parent handout.

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Meet Your New Super-Volunteers-Military Families!

Does your parent center need volunteers to expand and continue your work?

Military family members are super-volunteers!

According to the results of the 2017 Military Lifestyle Survey, military spouses place high value on their civic responsibility. 78% of those respondents volunteer in their civilian communities. The military strongly encourages service members to volunteer, and military children and teens are active volunteers as well. Find out how to tap into this volunteer-strong community.

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Connecting with Coast Guard Families

Coast Guard families usually live near their installations-along coastlines but also far inland on rivers that connect to a coastline. Do you serve a region of the country where Coast Guard families can be found? Check out the map in your region of the country for your local Coast Guard! This article will help your center locate and serve Coast Guard families and identifies possible best points of contact for outreach. Continue reading “Connecting with Coast Guard Families”

4 Short Videos to view and share-Elmo and the Vice Admiral

Vice Admiral Raquel “Rocky” Bono, Director of the Defense Health Agency, and Elmo joined forces  on YouTube to introduce a new set of resources for your work with military-connected families. The Sesame Street for Military Families webpage for providers was developed in conjunction with the Defense Health Agency, which is responsible for healthcare for military families. Find out how useful these videos can be:

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