Maritime Micro-Scholarships Program

$800 changes a life forever

A fundraising campaign for Services for the UnderServed (S:US)

Our Story

This campaign is designed to continue to create “micro scholarships” for our highly successful Veteran Education to Employment program, specifically for our Veterans attending SUNY Maritime College’s Basic Seamanship Course. 

In the late summer of 2014 SUNY Maritime College’s Professional Education and Training Department approached SUS with an opportunity to help promote and increase the number of Veterans in the maritime industry; in particular the entry level mariner ranks.  Given SUNY’s experience with this robust course, plus SUS’ deep understanding of the roadblocks Veterans face in employment, wellness, and homelessness, we created a screening tool that allowed for the highest chance of success for our Veterans.  This tool allowed us to screen Veterans upfront as a provider to ensure they had the all the attributes necessary to become successful entry level mariners.  These attributes include willingness, aptitude, physical and mental health.  Upon successful completion of the course, our Veterans are prepared to enter the maritime industry and pursue family-wage positions with opportunity for growth and advancement. 

Through this partnership, qualified and screened Veterans, spanning all branches of the Armed Forces, are offered a 2 week education and training program. Veterans that could not afford the cost of tuition (approximately $1,000) were helped by a small fund within the division.  100% of the Veterans who began the program, successfully completed the course.  Our 20 Veteran graduates are presently applying for and receiving their final mariner credentials which allows them to work aboard vessels.  

Demand for the program has been overwhelming and the industry they are entering pays a living wage.  However, we need your help to sustain this program.  On average we have spent $800 for each Veteran to go through the course and become credentialed.  This is a small price to pay for an industry that pays an average of $50,000 for entry level personnel.  

We want to continue this effort.  Your small donation can equal the difference between poverty and a fulfilling career in the maritime industry for a US Veteran.

The course curriculum provides a hands-on, team building approach to learning. Upon successful completion of the course, the Veterans are certified to work in the maritime industry as Ordinary (OS) or Able Bodied (AB) seaman. Coursework includes three stages:

1. Ship familiarity and deckhand training that exposes students to life aboard a ship.

2. Basic safety, first aid, firefighting and lifesaving skills [BST].

3. VPDSD (Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties) which is a security class required for all mariners.

Please consider donating to this worthwhile cause. Your contribution can pave the way for a Veteran to start a rewarding career in the maritime industry.  Thank you!

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