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Joining Forces Revived for Military Families & Students

Students with a military parent face challenges of frequent moves throughout their educational years.

Shawna Newman

May 13, 2021

Discover how the restart of the Joining Forces Program will help support students of military families.
Joining Forces Revived for Military Families & Students
Students with parents in the military have more resources and support to look forward to, as First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden announced the relaunch of the Joining Forces program this April. The program, originated by former First Lady Michell Obama, focuses on four critical needs of America’s military families: Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship, and Well-Being. Below are more details on each of the four focuses of the Joining Forces Program renewal:

Educational Support

According to the White House Joining Forces website, “There are more than 2 million children in classrooms in the United States whose parents are active-duty military service members, National Guard or reservists, or military veterans.”

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High school students with a military parent face challenges of frequent moves throughout their educational years. One goal of the Joining Forces program is to equip these students with the resources they need to be successful. Through the renewed program, students will have access to Military Service School Liaisons. Military One Source, a website for active duty military families that provides support on benefits, taxes, moving and more, houses the Military School Liaison resource and serves as a success link for high school students of military families. Liaison services include educational subject experts and connections to public school officials that help to make school transitions easier. A student’s junior and senior years of high school are important. Moving school districts in high school is a challenge, considering curriculum and expectation changes, new high school counselors, and building new friendships in a new region. The official site adds, “Joining Forces will advance programming to support military-connected children in their classrooms, and help ease the burdens created by the highly mobile military lifestyle.”

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The connection and support of the School Liaison program ensures these students can keep their college-bound status, even if the family moves during these crucial years. The program is designed to help military children “...thrive academically, socially and emotionally...” according to Military One Source. Military One Source also provides social resources through numerous social activities, summer camps, volunteer programs, and more. One such partnership is the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. This organization helps military-family students build relationships and network within their community. Military families and their children can join the Boys & Girls Clubs of America for free. Education and empowerment are both a BGCA focus, as showcased in the Virtual STEM Program for Girls.

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Employment and Entrepreneurship Resources

Another focus area highlights the obstacles of military spouses looking to enter the workforce or start their own businesses. Joining Forces has committed to working within economic regions to increase access to employment opportunities and to help offset the costs of childcare.

Well-Being and Health

Joining Forces amplifies the importance of taking care of America’s military families. As students and caregivers of parents in the military, it’s critical to provide the support necessary to create a lasting and successful future for military families and their children. According to the site, the program will strive to provide tools, “Supporting the overall physical, social and emotional health of military families...”

Additional Support for Military Children and Spouses

There’s extra help for military children and spouses that are looking to earn a college degree. Fastweb offers the below scholarship lists designed just for service members and their dependents: College Scholarships for Military Children and Spouses Military Scholarships Children of military members, the footsteps of their parents, may also consider enlisting in the military to help pay for college, too. No matter what military branch you choose, you’ll develop a skilled trade while having the opportunity to advance your education. Many communities are also celebrating the commitment of high school students that have decided to join the military. One such program leading this initiative is America Salutes! 2021. This program supports community-level celebrations in a fashion like a high school graduation ceremony. Deciding to enlist in the military as a high school student gives you an advantage, as you’ll graduate college with little student loan debt and have outstanding leadership experience to highlight on your resume. Fastweb offers additional articles related to the U.S. Armed Forces and education: Online Learning Resource Center GI Bill Overview What’s the FSEOG Grant? Looking for more military-related information? Contact a recruiter to learn more about the educational benefits offered by the military or visit Military.com.

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