MCCC Student Nurses, Veterans Participate In White House Tree Selection

PHOTO: Members of the Student Nurses Club (SNC) and Student Veterans Organization (SVO) from Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) participated in the selection of the 2015 White House Christmas tree at Bustard’s Christmas Tree Farm in Lehighton, Pa. on Sept. 30. Pictured (from left) Dansel Landingin, SVO, Psychology major, with Trigger; Hector, Figueroa, SVO president, Social Sciences major; Kristin Davies, Nursing instructor; Jay Bustard, Bustard’s Christmas Trees co-owner; Aaron Hull, SVO, Life Sciences major; Courtney Bagwell, SNC, Nursing major; Kathryn Hall, SNC, Nursing major; Joe Long, SVO and Veterans Services assistant, Engineering major; Dr. Linda Roy, Nursing program director; and Michael Brown, Veterans Services coordinator. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

PHOTO: Members of the Student Nurses Club (SNC) and Student Veterans Organization (SVO) from Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) participated in the selection of the 2015 White House Christmas tree at Bustard’s Christmas Tree Farm in Lehighton, Pa. on Sept. 30. Pictured (from left) Dansel Landingin, SVO, Psychology major, with Trigger; Hector, Figueroa, SVO president, Social Sciences major; Kristin Davies, Nursing instructor; Jay Bustard, Bustard’s Christmas Trees co-owner; Aaron Hull, SVO, Life Sciences major; Courtney Bagwell, SNC, Nursing major; Kathryn Hall, SNC, Nursing major; Joe Long, SVO and Veterans Services assistant, Engineering major; Dr. Linda Roy, Nursing program director; and Michael Brown, Veterans Services coordinator. Photo by Sandi Yanisko

Lehighton, Pa.—Members of the Student Nurses Club and Student Veterans Organization from Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) traveled to Bustard’s Christmas Tree Farm in Lehighton, Pa. on Sept. 30 for the selection of the 2015 official White House Christmas tree.

During a special press event, White House officials, along with representatives from the National Christmas Tree Association, identified a 19-foot Fraser Fir that will soon be headed to the White House’s Blue Room. Bustard’s was selected as the provider for this year’s tree after being named Grand Champion at the National Christmas Trees Association’s biannual meeting, held this past summer in Illinois.

The Bustard family invited MCCC students to be part of the ceremonial tree selection at its Carbon County farm to recognize the Student Nurses Club’s commitment to the national Trees for Troops program.

Over the past several years, the Student Nurses Club has raised funds and has donated more than 60 trees to Trees for Troops, which provides holiday trees to the families of deployed service men and woman. Each December, MCCC Nursing and Veterans students gather at Bustard’s Christmas Tree Farm in Lansdale to purchase, tag and prepare trees for shipment to military families.

The Nursing program’s participation in Trees for Troops aligns with Joining Forces, a national initiative calling on Americans to rally around service members, veterans and their families and to support them through wellness, education and employment opportunities. To learn more about Joining Forces, visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/joiningforces.

In addition to Trees for Troops, the Student Nurses Club raised over $3,000 for last year’s Hometown Hero Walk in Lansdale, and the group has sponsored donation drives for personal care items that were delivered to military troops stationed abroad and to the Veteran’s Center of Montgomery County.

To learn more about national Trees for Troops program, visit http://www/treesfortroops.org.

MCCC Joins ‘Yellow Ribbon Program’ To Benefit Student Veterans

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) was recently selected to participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the 2014-15 academic year. The program enables MCCC to assist up to 10 student veterans with fees associated with out-of-state residency.

“Many students return or relocate to Pennsylvania after their military service only to be charged as ‘out-of-state’ residents, which the VA does not cover under normal Post 9/11 G.I. Bill benefits,” explains former U.S. Marine Justin Machain, coordinator of veterans services at MCCC. “The College applied to, and was accepted by, the Yellow Ribbon Program to assist these students with out-of-state costs starting this fall.”

To qualify for funding, veterans must be eligible for the maximum benefit rate under the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill and cannot be on active duty. Visit benefits.va.gov/gibill/yellow_ribbon.asp for full eligibility requirements.

Montgomery County Community College’s participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program builds on its commitment to a student veteran population that has grown by close to 130 percent since 2007. Fiscal year 2013-14 saw 705 student veterans enrolled at the College, which is nationally designated as a “Military Friendly School” by Victory Media for five years running.

The College’s support services for student veterans include a dedicated resource center, lounge, new student orientation, study groups, career counseling and yoga, among others, facilitated by a dedicated Veterans Support Team. MCCC also has an active Student Veterans Organization, which is an official chapter of the Student Veterans of America (SVA).

Veteran services are a part of MCCC’s overarching Student Success Initiative—expanding access to higher education and increasing student success through process improvements and support strategies that reduce the barriers for students to complete their education.

To learn more about Veterans Affairs at Montgomery County Community College, visit mc3.edu/student-resources/vrc or contact Justin Machain at 215-619-7307 or veterans@mc3.edu. For information about the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, visit http://www.gibill.va.gov.