Warrior-Scholar Project

From the Battlefield to the Classroom

aka Operation Opportunity Foundation   |   Washington, DC   |  www.warrior-scholar.org

Mission

Warrior Scholar Project (WSP), a veteran services organization, provides 1-and 2-week college prep academic boot camps, seminars, and wraparound educational programs to transitioning service members and veterans. Our mission: “To empower enlisted veterans and service members and amplify their voices as civic leaders by providing them with (1) a skill bridge that enables a successful transition to the classroom by making them informed consumers of higher education and increasing their confidence to apply to and complete rigorous degree programs at top-tier institutions, and (2) sustained support throughout their pursuit of higher education and into the workforce.” Programming covers critical thinking, reading, writing, analytical reasoning, problem-solving, and leadership.

Notes from the nonprofit

From the student survey of a recent WSP boot camp participant: “I think veterans sometimes sell themselves short. Especially in the enlisted community where many of us join because we don't have a clear path to higher education immediately available after high school. Aside from offering crucial study habits and tools that veterans need to succeed, [WSP] lets us know that we can aim high too.”

Ruling year info

2011

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Ryan Pavel

Main address

1012 14th Street NW, Ste 1200 Suite 1200

Washington, DC 20005 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

45-2745669

NTEE code info

Student Services and Organizations (B80)

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

Despite the unique work experience transitioning veterans bring to their academic careers, they face singular difficulties adjusting to, and succeeding in, a higher education environment. WSP’s veteran-led and delivered service model is unique in that it is fully immersive and tailored to the needs of its participants. In addition to free participation, veterans are provided all course materials as well as campus lodging and dining during 1- and 2-week boot camps. During the COVID-19 pandemic, WSP successfully pivoted to a remote program delivery model for academic boot camps in 2020, providing all programs virtually (306 program slots). All 20 higher education partners collaborated with WSP to ensure program integrity. Boot camp programming was delivered via Zoom, in three time zones, to cohorts ranging from 8 to 18 student veterans, depending upon the higher education partner. WSP’s focus on limiting virtual boot camp cohort size ensured a high instructor to student ratio, heightened

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?

Warrior-Scholar Project Courses

Each Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) course is a 1- to 2-week intensive academic experience designed to prepare veterans for the transition from the military to college. During the COVID-19 pandemic, WSP successfully pivoted to a remote program delivery model for academic boot camps in 2020, providing all programs virtually (306 program slots). All 20 higher education partners collaborated with WSP to ensure program integrity. Boot camp programming was delivered via Zoom, in three time zones, to cohorts ranging from 8 to 18 student veterans, depending upon the higher education partner. WSP’s focus on limiting virtual boot camp cohort size ensured a high instructor to student ratio, heightened student veteran interaction, and allowed for the delivery of robust educational supports. As with on-site programming, host institution faculty volunteered their time to teach; writing instructors, writing tutors, and STEM research project leaders worked one-on-one with student veterans; and program delivery was facilitated by WSP alumni fellows. To maintain engagement levels during 1- and 2-week programming, WSP’s virtual service model includes breakout sessions, enhanced coaching/mentoring, and alumni panel discussions.

Despite challenges arising from the pandemic, WSP expanded its partnerships by 10% in 2020, standing up new collaborations with Williams College, Caltech, and the University of Michigan. In addition, WSP expanded its collaboration with the University of Notre Dame to offer a Business & Entrepreneurship-focused boot camp in addition to Humanities programming.

Leveraging the success of its virtual engagement service models, in November of 2020, WSP launched the Women Veterans Empowerment Dialogues program (WVED) -- facilitated, remote conversations that highlight strategies for women veterans to balance career, education, and personal challenges and priorities. WSP is continuing to hold WVED events bi-monthly.

Whether one or two weeks, each WSP course includes:
*Mentorship from fellow enlisted veterans who have successfully transitioned from the military to college;
*Seminar discussions with distinguished college and university faculty;
*Intensive writing workshops led by university writing instructors;
*Focused discussions with student veterans addressing the challenges faced by non-traditional college students;
*Skill-building classes centered on note-taking, time management, test prep, and study skills;
*Advice on navigating the college admissions process;
*Access to academic support from the WSP network following course completion and thereafter.

Boot camp curricula foster the core American values of open inquiry, civil discourse, intellectual humility and curiosity, ideological tolerance, and viewpoint diversity. Programming covers study skills, soft skills, cultural integration strategies, and self-care issues.
Community College Workshops (CCW)

Launched in 2018, WSP’s Community College Workshops (CCW)) is a 1- to 4-day, intensive college preparatory workshop hosted in collaboration with community colleges, veteran service organizations and community-based nonprofits across the country. As 40% of student veterans enroll in community colleges, outreach to, and engagement with, this demographic is critical to WSP’s mission. Programming educates student veterans about the resources available to them; provides them with strategies to break down and analyze complex academic texts; identifies the study skills needed to succeed in a college environment; and fosters interest in and offers on-ramps to participation in a 1- or 2-week summer academic boot camp.

Population(s) Served
Veterans
Military personnel

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

US Dept of Veterans Affairs 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Number of enlisted veterans receiving small-class, intensive, immersive college preparatory training as well as community college-based seminars and learning opportunities.

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

Veterans

Related Program

Warrior-Scholar Project Courses

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Despite the challenges of the world-wide pandemic, WSP succeeded in meeting our student service goals in 2020 and are on track to increase numbers of students served in 2021.

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.

Our mission is “To empower enlisted veterans and service members and amplify their voices as civic leaders by providing them with (1) a skill bridge that enables a successful transition to the classroom by making them informed consumers of higher education and increasing their confidence to apply to and complete rigorous degree programs at top-tier institutions, and (2) sustained support throughout their pursuit of higher education and into the workforce.”

We provide intensive one- to two-week intensive humanities and STEM-focused college preparatory courses as well as one-day seminars on college and university campuses across the country. WSP’s Community College Workshops (CCW) is a 1- to 4-day, intensive college preparatory workshop hosted in collaboration with community colleges, veteran service organizations and community-based nonprofits across the country. As 40% of student veterans enroll in community colleges, outreach to, and engagement with, this demographic is critical to WSP’s mission. CCW programming educates student veterans about the resources available to them; provides them with strategies to break down and analyze complex academic texts; identifies the study skills needed to succeed in a college environment; and fosters interest in attending a 1- or 2-week summer academic boot camp. Panel discussions with boot camp alumni provide vital peer-to-peer support and interaction.

Leveraging the success of its virtual engagement service models, in November of 2020, WSP launched the Women Veterans Empowerment Dialogues program (WVED) -- facilitated, remote conversations that highlight strategies for women veterans to balance career, education, and personal challenges and priorities. WSP is continuing to hold WVED events bi-monthly.

Working with our higher education partners, Warrior-Scholar Project is uniquely positioned to deliver on its mission as it has provided veterans with college preparatory training for the past decade. Our evidence-based, veteran led and delivered service model ensures veterans are mentored, supported, instructed, and academically challenged as they transition from the military to academia.

Warrior-Scholar Project has been privileged to provide over 1,400 enlisted veterans and active duty personnel with college preparatory training in the form of intensive one- to two-week academic boot camps, as well as one- and four-day seminars at partnering community colleges. In 2021 and beyond, we will continue to scale our programming, geographically and in terms of curriculum. In addition we will add to our already strong focus on alumni to serve their needs as they segue from higher education to professional school and the workplace.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Current students, alumni, university and college stakeholders, peer veteran service organizations, individual donors and foundation supporters.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, feedback in online seminars,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Leveraging the success of its virtual engagement service models, in November of 2020, Warrior Scholar Project launched the Women Veterans Empowerment Dialogues program (WVED) -- facilitated, remote conversations that highlight strategies for women veterans to balance career, education, and personal challenges and priorities. WSP is continuing to hold WVED events bi-monthly and ran an all-female boot camp at University of California Pomona in 2021.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Our academic programs' most important measure of success is the response and feedback from students and alumni regarding how WSOP's academic and wraparound programs meet and anticipate their needs. For example, understanding that alumni continue to need guidance, services and career on-ramps, in 2020, WSP formed an Alumni Advisory Committee to survey alumni and determine strategies needed to build out alumni programs that would best fulfill the needs of these stakeholders. An Alumni Engagement & Outreach Fellow, who also sits on the Steering Committee, was appointed in 2020 to oversee services to and involvement of alumni. In March 2022, WSP will hold its first-ever all-alumni conference in Chicago in March 2022 as part of our ongoing effort to connect with and serve alumni.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently,

Financials

Warrior-Scholar Project
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Warrior-Scholar Project

Board of directors
as of 8/12/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mark London

London & Mead

Peter Brooks

NLine Energy

Frank Brosens

Taconic Capital

Julia Dailey

Holocene Advisors

Matthew Flavin

Concord Energy Holdings

Michael Fotos

Yale Univ

Marla Geha

Yale Univ

Darren Gruendel

Kinderhook Industries

Chris Michalik

Kinderhook Industries

Jessica Nelson

Grid North

David Patterson

Brandywine Trust Co

Jesse Reising

Kirkland & Ellis

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 08/12/2021

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 with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/12/2021

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.