On behalf of the entire First Command Educational Foundation, I wish our families, friends, advocates, volunteers, supporters, learners, and partners a safe, happy, and prosperous holiday season and an amazing 2024! As we launch into another year of productivity, I would like to share some updates from our tremendous team.
On December 31, 2023 Skip Bowen resigned as Chief Executive Officer of the First Command Educational Foundation. He remains the Chair of our Board of Directors and made the voluntary decision to better position the Foundation for future growth. I have assumed the role as Chief Executive Officer and President. I thank Skip and the entire Board of Directors for their confidence and opportunity. Skip’s impact on First Command Educational Foundation will be recognized for years to come.
We’ve also had some changes to our Board of Directors. In 2023, we welcomed Jennifer Berlin, Jay Land, and Tim Corrigan to our Board as new members. We also want to recognize Tom Atkin, Chris Kirkpatrick, and Dennis White for their service to First Command Educational Foundation as they leave our Board of Directors. The leadership and strategic vision developed by our Board of Directors is invaluable to our success.
In 2023, we spread the word of our programs through new partnerships with organizations such as Jeanne M. Holm Center for Officer Accessions and Citizen Development, Non Commissioned Officers Association, Tampa Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, and others. These partnerships exponentially expand our ability to reach more people who benefit from the services we provide.
Utilizing our volunteer speaker force, we delivered 94 educational events across the country providing quality financial readiness presentations to 4,388 people. In scholarships, we are on track to award more than $120,000 to deserving traditional and non-traditional students aspiring to further their education.
Through the generosity of partner organizations and our donors, we provide scholarships to military and federal service affiliated recipients who pursue trade school, undergraduate, or graduate degrees.
We’ve been very busy bringing the accreditation of our TAKE COMMAND® online courses to life. This initiative done in partnership with The American College of Financial Services will award up to three college credit hours in Consumer Finance Education to students who complete at least 20 TAKE COMMAND courses. This first-of-its-kind accreditation validates the quality and comprehensiveness of the TAKE COMMAND curriculum.
We are excited to announce the planned development and deployment of a mobile app for our TAKE COMMAND curriculum that will reach unlimited subscribers. Providing an enhanced, intuitive user experience, this app allows for innovative “gamification” and badging of educational content, as well as adding new courses and lessons to appeal to diverse audiences. The one-time development cost is $39,000 with annual operating costs at $58,400/year. Please visit www.fcef.com/we-need-you/ to learn more about TAKE COMMAND, the app, and how your tax-deductible gift can help get TAKE COMMAND into the hands of those who need it!
2024 will bring many new opportunities including digitization of our educational content into microlearning vignettes and development of a new “Fundamentals of Financial Leadership” program. We will continue to diligently secure donations to help grow the number and value of educational programs and scholarships we provide to worthy communities.
Can we count on you to make First Command Educational Foundation even more impactful than we already are? Your gift says that our communities are worth it! Give safely and conveniently at www.fcef.com/give/.
Thank you so much! We couldn’t do what we do without you!
Tom Kuhar, President
First Command Educational Foundation
Commander, US Coast Guard (retired)