The Warriors at Amazon affinity group donated $1,000 to the Moraine Valley Community College Foundation to start a new scholarship for veterans at the college that can be used to cover educational expenses.
Members of the Warriors at Amazon group presented a check to Moraine Valley’s president, Dr. Sylvia M. Jenkins, at an event held on Feb. 14 in the college’s Veterans Resource Center. The two co-presidents of the affinity group, Suha Abunijmeh, inventory control and quality assurance operations manager, and Peter Holland, senior operations manager, attended the event along with several Amazon employees and members of the group.
“The Warriors at Amazon is one of our affinity groups,” Abunijmeh, a graduate of Moraine Valley, said. “It focuses on veterans who are coming back to civilian jobs, and our aim is to provide resources for them.”
“Sometimes, veterans go into the workforce and may feel like they have a lost sense of purpose. This scholarship gives us the chance to show them there’s more they can contribute after their military careers and they still have opportunities to continue to serve the community,” Holland said.
Abunijmeh was instrumental in establishing the connection that led to the group’s donation to the Moraine Valley Foundation for the new scholarship.
“Last December, I received a newsletter from the Foundation sharing information about scholarships and initiatives they were working on, so I decided to explore what we could do to help,” she said.
“When Suha brought this to our attention, we thought it was a great way to support Moraine Valley, have the Warriors at Amazon affinity group support veterans and begin a relationship with the school,” said Rick Sanchez, community connections leader at Amazon.
The Amazon MDW7 Warriors Affinity Group Scholarship for Veterans is available for veterans who served in any branch of the military and received an honorable discharge or for a dependent of a veteran, who demonstrates financial need and meets specific academic requirements.
Jenkins expressed her gratitude to Abunijmeh for working with the Foundation to help create the scholarship and to the Warriors at Amazon for providing funds. She also acknowledged the student-veterans from the college who attended the event: Matthew Lefebvre, an IT security major; Juan Almaraz, a nutrition major; and Yousef Almassri, a criminal justice major.
The student-veterans were glad they were invited to be a part of the check presentation ceremony.
“It means a lot to me to see the college president and the staff, and the people from Amazon supporting us,” Almassri said.
“To me, it’s meaningful because a lot of times you see veterans having other veterans’ backs, and it’s nice to have support from a big company like Amazon to help us out,” Almaraz said.
Lefebvre added, “Coming here and seeing that Amazon and the Veterans Resource Center are here for us makes us feel appreciated. We can’t thank everyone enough.”
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