After a few years, American Legion Post 326 in Austin, Texas, they have managed to offer college scholarships worth $44,000 to almost two dozen of honorably discharged veterans. The Veterans Scholarship Program was initiated in 2013, and the first scholarships were two worth $2,000, were awarded veterans who were attending Texas State University in San Marcos.
The additional unintended benefit of the scholarship program is that it has offered the post a good opportunity to create an avenue for The American Legion to meet and interact with new generation of veterans. This has resulted in many of the beneficiaries joining the post. One of the scholarship beneficiaries is Rebecca Larson, who is currently working on her doctorate in astronomy.
After serving for six years in the Air Force, Larson left the force to join her family in San Jose, Calif. She used this chance to pursue a degree in entrepreneurship with a minor in studio art using her GI Bill. Two years down the line her family moved to them and she had to transfer to the University of Texas. The only challenge was that she could not transfer her credits to the university's business school and was forced to change her major to astronomy (only to realize that the course required two years of prerequisite physics.) Her determination to finish her degree made her to look for alternative funding sources and stumbled upon the Onion Creek post and it’s Veterans Scholarship Program. Larson was lucky and was awarded a scholarship in 2015, which she accepted at a post dinner. It was her first experience with any veterans’ organization.
Larson is just one example of the beneficiaries of the scholarship. Many young veterans have now a chance to continue with their studies and hence increase their chances of getting employed in the private sector. The VA department has encouraged such programs since they offer immediate solution to the school funding challenges faced by many veterans who decide to go back to school and pursue professional careers, and also creating a long term solutions to other programs that always arise when a veteran cannot be able to earn his income.