Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation

Helping One Sentinel At a Time.

aka Sentinels of Freedom (SOF)   |   San Ramon, CA   |  www.sentinelsoffreedom.org

Mission

The Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation (SOF) is a 501(c)(3) nationwide nonprofit that assists severely wounded and injured post -9/11 Veterans successfully complete higher education, find career-focused employment, and gain financial independence. Our focus is on helping these Veterans, called Sentinels in honor of their service to our nation, find long-term success on their new post-military path.

Ruling year info

2007

Chairman and CEO

Mike Conklin

Main address

P.O. Box 1316

San Ramon, CA 94583 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-8139201

NTEE code info

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

SOF was established to help severely wounded and injured veterans overcome the obstacles they face while navigating college and finding a new civilian career. Entering college and finding a career are two difficult tasks on their own, and with the addition of injuries that add physical and mental hurdles, the journey becomes even harder. The educational challenge for these veterans is the actual completion of a college career that will increase their likelihood of entering the competitive professional marketplace. Given the national disparity between (1) severely wounded veterans returning from active duty with unique societal and cultural needs and (2) the benefit of continual follow-up leading to their ultimate success and independence, there is a need for an enduring resource that facilitates the veterans' transition from active duty to college graduation and on to a successful career through long-term guidance and periodic follow-up.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Transition Program

Our comprehensive, multi-faceted scholarships work to ease Veterans' transition to civilian life by providing support and resources that will enable them to become productive and self-sufficient. Our transition program includes such things as financial assistance through housing subsidies, financial coaching and planning, a mentoring program, networking opportunities, and employment assistance that are tailored to the individual and their specific aspirations.

Population(s) Served
Veterans

The Sentinels of Freedom merit-based grant is a one-time monetary award of $1,000 to be used for educational purposes such as tuition, books, computers, and tutoring expenses. Additionally, individuals approved for the grant may receive assistance in the following key areas if requested: financial coaching and planning, mentoring, networking opportunities, and employment assistance.

Population(s) Served
Veterans

Student Veteran Resource Centers (SVRCs) are on-campus centers at institutions of higher learning that meet the specific needs of student Veterans. SVRCs provide safe spaces, study areas, access to Veteran resources and materials, places to connect with the Veteran community, leadership and community service opportunities, and academic advising specific to student Veterans.

Population(s) Served
Veterans

Where we work

Awards

First Place 2007

Newman's Own Foundation

Excellence in Community Service 2009

Daughters of the American Revolutin

Honary member of 75th Ranger Regiment - Mike Conklin CEO Sentinels of Freedom 2009

75th Ranger Regiment

Certificate of Recognition 2006

State of California Senate

Honorary member 2000

United States Army Signat - by Order of the Secretary of the Army

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Percentage of scholarship program graduates who are gainfully employed or pursuing more education

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Veterans

Related Program

Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Transition Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

- Have employment lined up within six months of graduation.

Percentage of scholarship program graduates who are financially independent

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Veterans

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

- Believe that assistance that Sentinels of Freedom provided has helped them achieve financial freedom.

Number of accepted scholarship program recipients

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Veterans

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

- Due to CV19, only 44 were accepted in 2020. We don't enroll veterans into the program unless we have funds in the bank to support a full scholarship.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOF has three main objectives for our scholarship recipients: (1) completion of post-secondary education, (2) procurement of meaningful and career-focused employment, and (3) establishment of financial independence. Accordingly, currently (1) at least 90% of Sentinels who graduate from the scholarship program have either earned post-secondary degrees or are near completion, (2) at least 70% of Sentinels who graduate from the program are employed within six months of graduation and at least 15% are continuing their education, and (3) at least 90% of Sentinels who graduate from the program have a stable place of residence that they call home and at least 90% consider themselves financially independent (compared to only 50% who enter the program and say daily expenses are a challenge). With this progression of success, our Sentinels become community leaders, successful business owners, veterans' awareness voices, and mentors themselves (all avenues for giving back). As they live, work, and serve in their communities, others – and particularly young people – are continually reminded of the return that comes from working hard to complete college, gain professional employment, and give back despite the circumstances.

We help the wounded veterans in our program accomplish their goals through our comprehensive, multi-faceted support program that is tailored to the unique needs and aspirations of each veteran we serve. One part of the process is our provision of a housing subsidy which allows veterans to concentrate on their studies while going to school full-time. We also assist with many other facets necessary to become a successful civilian by offering financial coaching and planning, resume building, mentoring, networking, and internship and career assistance. 1- Once enrolled in our program, Sentinels must submit each semester's course schedules. Staff and mentors review/assess the Sentinels' educational/personal goals, helping them attain goal #1 – completion of post-secondary education. 2- Sentinels are paired with one or more mentor(s) and provided with networking opportunities through our network of mentor volunteers and partnership with ACP (American Corporate Partners), helping them attain goal #2 – procurement of career-focused employment. 3- Financial coaches and planners assist with financial education and plans. SOF program staff go over monthly budget sheets and long term goals biannually with each Sentinel, helping them attain goal #3 – establishment of financial independence.

With a staff of seven operational and administrative professionals, we are highly efficient and transparent in our work. At Sentinels of Freedom, our staff of professionals and a host of nationwide volunteer mentors and corporate liaisons work cohesively to carefully guide each veteran through the scholarship process to successful completion.
In program year three, each Sentinel is paired with a volunteer mentor (at times, more) such as financial advisors, doctors, attorneys, and other professionals. Other volunteers serve as “connectors", introducing Sentinels to professional development and employment opportunities through SOF's extensive network of partner military, corporate, and community leaders across the country. SOF is continually looking for motivated individuals to become mentors (locally or virtually), drawn from a variety of organizations and industries. Volunteers also have the opportunity to serve through community-sponsored fundraising events such as an annual bike ride and various golf tournaments.

SOF currently serves 169 severely wounded and injured post 9/11 veterans and has helped 150 successfully transition into civilian life. Of the 150 graduates, 90% have earned a post-secondary degree, 95% are gainfully employed or pursuing more education, and 95% are financially independent. Of the 150 who have completed the program since 2007, many indicate that over the numerous veteran-related services offered to them, SOF's assistance was the most instrumental in their success. According to participant surveys, virtually all are professionally employed six months after graduation and consider themselves financially independent. All have a stable place of residence and two-in-three are volunteering within their community. Our short term goal for the program is to be able to accept 100 new Sentinels a year. In 2017, we have accepted 68.

Financials

Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation

Board of directors
as of 10/5/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Mike Conklin

CEO

Marty Kaplan

Retired AT&T Executive VP

Ronald Lowe

Major General Ronald Lowe, US Army (retired) Executive Director of General Contracting (retired) AT&T

Mike Conklin

CEO Sentinels of Freedom

Kent Strazza

Managing Director, Alternatives Group Franklin Templeton Investments

Mary King

Vice President, Human Resources & Chief Diversity Officer Pacific Gas & Electric

Chris Marzilli

Executive Vice President Information Technology and Mission Systems General Dynamics

HT Tran

Graduated Sentinel Founder, CEO, and President Anvil Builders

Pete Walsh

Founder, President, and CEO Owards LLC

Mike Sandy

CFO Sentinels of Freedom

Jason Church

Graduated Sentinel State Counsel Office of US Senator Ron Johnson, Wisconsin

Dan Coleman

Director of Design, Planning Engineering and Construction for River Islands Development

David Halverson

President, Cypress International

Samantha Chapman

Vice President of Programs Sentinels of Freedom

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/05/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability