Sierra College Awarded Grant from SAFE Credit Union to Help Veterans Move Careers Forward

January 17, 2020
Six people pose with oversized check from SAFE Credit Union.
Left to Right: Bob Romness (Sierra College Board of Trustees, President), Jay Blake (Sierra College Veterans Success Center), Willy Duncan (Sierra College Superintendent/President), and from SAFE Credit Union, Amanda Merz, Casey Jenkins, and Steve Raymond.

Sierra College today announced that the Sierra College Foundation has been awarded a grant of $20,000 from SAFE Credit Union to support the Sierra College Veterans Success Center and its Valor Career Pathway Program.

Sierra College has a long history of serving the student veterans in the region and we are grateful to SAFE Credit Union for recognizing the importance of supporting this vital student population, said Willy Duncan, Sierra College Superintendent/President. The Valor Career Pathway Program will assist student veterans in their transition to civilian life and help them adapt their military training to a new career path.

Sierra College was recently recognized by Military Times as one of the “Best for Vets, Colleges 2020,” and the Veterans Success Center at Sierra College serves more than 800 student veterans and their families as the largest resource for veterans in Placer County. Veterans choose Sierra College because of the specialized services offered to them – which serve not just their unique educational needs, but also the mental, economic, and emotional challenges of adjusting to civilian life and entering the workforce with new skills.

“SAFE Credit Union will provide $400,000 in philanthropic giving in 2020, focusing on health, education, current and former military personnel, and the arts,” said Dave Roughton, president and CEO, SAFE Credit Union. “We’re proud to support the great work being done at Sierra College in support of our veterans.”

“The Valor Career Pathway Program will provide student veterans with the opportunity to participate in an intensive four-month career preparation seminar,” said Daniel Avegalio, student services program director at Sierra College. “As a veteran when I started college, I was one who appeared lost and had difficulty transitioning military skills into civilian employment. This program wants to make sure that doesn’t happen at Sierra.”

Activities in the Valor Career Pathway Program include:

  • Employment preparation along with job-shadowing, providing first-hand experience and insights in their chosen career field;
  • Public speaking opportunities to develop their communication skills; learn soft skills to help them be successful and develop a new resume and portfolio; and,
  • Peer-mentoring to ensure that program requirements are met, and help participants remain engaged throughout and ultimately complete the seminar.

More information about how Sierra College supports veterans is available at

More information on how to support programs at Sierra College through the Sierra College Foundation is available at

About Sierra College

The Sierra College District is rising to the needs of our community. Sierra College serves 3,200 square miles of Northern California with campuses in Roseville, Rocklin, Grass Valley, and Truckee. With approximately 125 degree and certificate programs, Sierra College is ranked first in Northern California (Sacramento north) for transfers to four-year universities, offers career/technical training, and classes for upgrading job skills. Sierra graduates can be found in businesses and industries throughout the region. More information at