Young Mequon Native Assisting Our Nation's Heroes in Search for Higher Education

Aug. 2, 2013

To: Citizens of America

My name is Garrett FItzGeraId, I am the Director of Operations and Co-Founder of a recent start-up called Home Front Alliance (HFA). I recently graduated from the University of Dayton this past May, but grew up in Mequon, WI where I was shaped into the man I am today, while attending Homestead High School.

I am not unlike many twenty-two year-olds; I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and graduation was rapidly approaching. What I did know was that I wanted to embark down a career-path where I felt my work was meaningful to individuals other than myself. I had always dreaded the idea of working for an organization void of a “giving” philosophy and uninterested in benefiting any social causes. With my heart set on partaking in “meaningful work,” accepting the average sales job was out-of-the-question for me. I decided if I wanted to change the world, or even improve the life of one individual, I would have to get creative.

I applied for countless jobs and never felt any true excitement. Then, one day I read an article about the dreadfully low veteran-graduation-rates for those veterans returning home from active-duty.

That’s when it hit me… Who better to serve than those who serve us?

Tens-of-thousands of veterans come home each year and look to attend college. Unfortunately, many lack the proper guidance in searching for schools that match their needs, interests, and qualifications. The astronomically low graduation rate for veterans is unacceptable. A major reason for the low figures is these men and women are choosing the wrong schools. I believe our program, The Edge, has the power to change these numbers.

Basically, HFA has created a program, designed by veterans for veterans, capable of providing veterans with a web-based college-matching tool. This program is unlike any other because it gives the user the ability to build a comprehensive profile detailing their educational history, community involvement, and military accolades. Once the profile is completed, the user has the ability to fill out an advanced college-filter based on institutional cost, size, geographic location, etc. Our program will then generate a list of colleges and universities that best match the user’s preferences and qualifications. Once the list is viewed, he or she will have the ability to directly communicate with those schools’ admissions offices by sending a profile and contact information. This program is beneficial for a number of reasons, the greatest being our veterans will be exposed to schools previously unknown to them and there chances at success (graduation) will increase greatly based on our program’s ability to match student-veterans with their ideal school.

Although I’m only 22 years old, I’m passionate, motivated, and driven to succeed. I’m looking to embark down a path where my work provides me with more than simple monetary benefits; I am looking to make a difference.

I have my own personal ties to the military and truly believe that everyone should make an effort to support our nation’s heroes in as many ways as possible as more and more men and women return home each year from battle. Whether you’re a recent or future college graduate, or simply a member of this great country, America’s veterans deserve our support.

For additional information on HFA’s mission and future:

God Bless America’s Troops,

Garrett FitzGerald

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