Over the past seven years, I have had the honor and pleasure to work with Nick Glakas, President of the Career College Association (CCA) 1999-2006. As you may all know, effective December 31, 2006, Nick will be leaving the Association. He has played a key role in the creation of several Imagine America programs. With Nick’s inspiration, the LDRSHIP Award, the Imagine America Military Award program (MAP) and the Imagine America Promise (formerly Imagine America II), were created.
After 9/11, Nick and I sat down to discuss the idea of a new scholarship and award program for military personnel. With the support of Chris Michel of Military Advantage, Fred Moosally of Lockheed Martin and Michael Platt of PlattForm this brainstorming session resulted in the formation of two Imagine America award programs.
In 2004, the LDRSHIP Award was created to recognize and honor exceptional career college students who have served their country honorably in the military and who are furthering their education at CCA member institutions. The LDRSHIP Award offers up to $5,000 in cash grants to each recipient.
As an honored military veteran, who served in Vietnam, Nick’s role in the recipient selection process was instrumental. This year, six of the eight LDRSHIP Award recipients were awarded the Purple Heart Medal; one was awarded the Bronze Star and another a Presidential Unit Citation.
The Imagine America Military Award Program (MAP), also created in 2004, has aided nearly 3,000 veterans with continuing their career education. Through MAP, active duty, reservist, honorably discharged or retired U.S. military personnel from any branch of the United States military can earn $1,000 for attendance at a participating career college.
Finally, Nick also had a hand in the creation of the Imagine America Promise (formerly Imagine America II) scholarship program. His idea was a scholarship program for adults to continue their education. That idea eventually became the Imagine America Promise Program a scholarship awarding $500 and $1,000 cash grants to its recipients. These cash grants are made possible through corporate sponsors, such as The Sallie Mae Fund, Lockhead Martin, Bridgestone-Firestone Trust, EMB Medical Services, and Dell Computer Company.
Nick’s influence and inspiration has helped create excellent scholarship and award programs for the Imagine America Foundation. The programs he inspired will continue to help thousands of students in the career college sector. The Foundation joins them and many others in grateful appreciation for his leadership during his tenure at the Career College Association. For more information about these military programs, please visit www.imagineamericafoundation.com.