WNC Veterans Resource Center barbecue raises scholarships for inmates

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Courtesy Steve Yingling, Western Nevada College

One of veterans’ core values is “veterans helping veterans.”

For Western Nevada College’s Veterans Resource Center that also means not forgetting about veterans who are incarcerated.

The VRC recently hosted a barbecue at Warm Springs Correctional Center in Carson City and raised enough money to fund 15 one-class scholarships for inmates. Inmates order from a menu, then pay for their selections including steaks, pork chops, hot dogs, baked beans and potato salad out of their own accounts. Approximately $4,500 was raised.

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These funds will enable inmates — not limited to veterans — to enroll in math and geography classes.

“Providing these classes will allow the inmates to develop the skills required in the workplace once they leave WSCC,” said Richard Vlach, a pre-admission adviser for WNC’s Veterans Resource Center and a United States Marine Corps veteran.

Vlach stated that the purpose of the program was to provide inmates with skill sets that will, when they are released, allow them to successfully re-enter society and not have to resort to the types of behaviors that caused them to be incarcerated.

“Studies show that as educational levels go up, recidivism rates go down,” Vlach said. “We are trying to keep the recidivism rates down and help these individuals succeed.”

Vlach said that there are currently 52 inmates enrolled in the scholarship program.

For more information about WNC’s Veterans Resource Center, go to www.wnc.edu/veterans-resource-center/. For additional information, contact VRC Coordinator Kevin Burns at kevin.burns@wnc.edu or 775-445-4275 and Veterans Pre-Admission Adviser Richard Vlach at richard.vlach@wnc.edu or 774-445-3302.

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