Infinite Hero Funds Innovative Counseling Program for Military Children
Proceeds from the Oakley Infinite Hero product collection and Infinite Hero fundraising events have positioned the foundation to make its first grant last week. Through a partnership with the Armed Forces Foundation (AFF), Infinite Hero is funding the training and placement of the program’s first school counselor specially trained to address the challenges faced by military dependents.
Three Oakley employees, Erick Poston, Dane Howell and Juliana Williams, had the privilege of traveling to Washington, D.C. to formally launch the school counseling program at Ft. Belvoir and attend the AFF 8th annual Congressional Gala where the program was announced.
Held at the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown D.C. on March 27, the AFF Gala was a great opportunity to show support for our military families and gain exposure for Infinite Hero Foundation’s work to address the impact of deployment stress and mental health issues on military families, particularly children. More than 600 Congressional Representatives, Department of Defense leaders, celebrities and corporate sponsors were in attendance, but the real guests of honor were the wounded members of our Armed Forces and their families. The AFF’s latest initiative to develop a comprehensive school-counseling program was highlighted several times throughout the night.
Later in the week, Ft. Belvoir Elementary School hosted a reception to celebrate the partnership between the school, the district, the local government, Ft. Belvoir, the AFF and Infinite Hero Foundation. Representatives from each group spoke about the importance of this program and the depth and breadth of impact that it will make on the lives of the students.
The demand for school counseling at Fort Belvoir Elementary School, where 98% of the students are military dependents, exceeds the capacity and expertise of most school counseling staff. These students face challenges due to their parent’s service that most American’s never experience. Frequent moves, long deployments and the mental health challenges that their parents sometimes encounter can lead to problems such as school absenteeism, failing grades and social isolation. The program’s counselor, Monica Crossley joined the counseling staff at Ft. Belvoir one month ago. Her strong background in school counseling, teaching, and innovative therapies are proving to impeccably suit this important role.
“I am excited about the opportunity to engage students in an area of need that is overlooked far too often. I look forward to supporting the needs of our military families and helping them find empowerment through the life-altering challenges they face,” said Crossley. “Of course, we could not address these fundamental changes without the incredible support and leadership of the Armed Forces Foundation and Infinite Hero Foundation.”
The intent of this groundbreaking school counseling program is to demonstrate the need for specialized counseling services for military dependents throughout our nation, especially in schools that are substantially militarily impacted. Because the state of Virginia has the second largest population of active duty service members in the country, it is the ultimate location to provide this major development in the treatment of PTSD/TBI for the entire family.