Purdue University North Central student Nicole McCaw, of LaPorte, was awarded the PNC Veteran's Organization scholarship as part of the campus Veteran's Day celebration. McCaw entered the winning essay in a competition, open to all PNC students, which asked applicants to address the topic, "What it Means to Take Care of America's Veterans and Why We Should."
The Veterans Scholarship was created to raise awareness of veterans' issues in the community and to assist a deserving PNC student.
McCaw read her essay, "Really Helping Our Veterans" during the Veteran's Day ceremony. Her essay stated, "Not only is taking care of our veterans the right thing to do, it is vital to our national defense in the future. Taking care of our veterans requires putting action to word. Before you can help, you need to know the problems our veterans are facing."
She also detailed the hardships that many veterans face, including unemployment and underemployment, homelessness, mental health problems, addiction and substance abuse.
"The PNC Veterans Organization was established in order to provide support during the transition from military life into a collegiate environment," explained Mark Strudas, president of the PNC Veterans Organization and the campus Veterans Program Coordinator, who is a Marine Corps veteran. "As we complete our degrees, we will continue to support our fellow student veterans as well as veterans in the surrounding community. It is our sincere hope to assist those around us, as we all strive to improve our lives."
Photo: Nicole McCaw with PNC Veterans Organization president, Mark Strudas