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Overcoming Obstacles, Shattering Stereotypes

Raised toward our $15,000 Goal
29 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on January 11, at 11:59 PM EST
Project Owners

Thanks for your support.

January 14, 2022

As we end our current ELeVATE campaign, we want to extend are deepest and most sincere thanks to everyone who made the campaign a success.  Your contributions serve as a vital reminder to our transitioning veterans that there are people who care about their success, both in the classroom and in life.  

Our veterans are so important to our communities, and your support of ELeVATE will provide them with the opportunity to continue to grow personally, professionally, and as community leaders.  For your support, and for the empowerment of our veterans, we say "thank you".

A holiday note from everyone at HERL

December 16, 2021

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On behalf of the HERL faculty, staff, and students, we want to wish all of you the very best this holiday season. Whether you’re traveling or staying at home, we hope you can spend time with loved ones during the coming weeks.

The past year has certainly been challenging, and we want you to know that we appreciate all that you have done to support ELeVATE considering these obstacles.  

Best wishes for a safe holiday and a prosperous New Year!

A note from Gunnery Sergeant Matt Hannan, USMC/Retired, and ELeVATE Alumni 2012

December 03, 2021

Upon my medical discharge from the United States Marine Corps in late 2010, I was lost without guidance and direction; I needed a new start in life. After living and serving in North Carolina for 17 years, I decided to move back to Pittsburgh, Pa, in 2011 for the reputable VA Healthcare system, access to wonderful educational institutions, and to be closer to my support network. I was introduced to the ELeVATE program by a rehabilitation counselor that thought my interests and my needs for the future may be met through it.

I was accepted to the ELeVATE program for the Spring internship in 2012; I had no idea that I was in for the experience of a lifetime. I received hands on training and real-world experience with very educated individuals and high-end technology, and the pairing of the two to make veterans with disabilities more inclusive and integrating us to move forward this technology.  Being paired with engineering professionals helped me focus on a project, get up to speed on my education prior to applying to higher education, and assisted me every step of the way. By the time fall semester 2012 came around, I was enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh, and heading towards my new future: providing support for veterans with disabilities. This program was instrumental to my transition and to those of many veterans like myself. Many alumni, such as myself, stay committed towards this mission, as it is enduring and critically essential. This has certainly been a lifetime experience for me, prepared me for a new future, and helped pave my way to a future serving veterans, such as myself.

A Thanksgiving Note from Josh Marino

November 24, 2021

A Thanksgiving note from Josh Marino, HERL Education & Outreach Coordinator/Veteran Mentor and ELeVATE alum:


As trees shed their last few amber-gold leaves and nights grow long and cold, the holiday season provides a welcome respite and opportunity for us to focus on that which is most important in our lives. Families gather, embrace one another, and recount the stories and accomplishments of the past year.

It is also a time of generosity, of placing other’s needs before one’s own. However, many individuals who donate to a cause don’t necessarily see where their contribution has an effect. But for student veterans in the Human Engineering Research Laboratories ELeVATE program, every dollar raised goes directly to the financial support and education of program participants. As such, we ask that you share the work of the ELeVATE program and this campaign with your family, friends, and coworkers.

We understand that this season will see many requests for support from countless organizations, and we are exceedingly grateful for your support of this successful, proven program for our student veterans!

A BIG Thank You!

November 18, 2021

A big “Thank You!” to everyone who made the first week of our ELeVATE campaign such a success.  In just seven days, we’ve hit the 36% mark of our goal of $15,000 to assist three transitioning Veterans this summer. Let’s keep it going!

So many factors go into making ELeVATE a success. From the transitioning men and women entering the program, the faculty and researchers who mentor them, and individuals like you who believe in supporting Veterans for what they have done, and for what they can do in the future.  We encourage you to spread the word about our campaign with family, friends, and co-workers who want to support our Veterans in their future successes.

Speaking of successes, did you happen to see this great article from last week’s Pittwire?:  If not, take a few moments to read about some of the exceptional Veterans who have made Pitt the outstanding university it is, including HERL’s very own, Dr. Rory Cooper. Congratulations to all who were highlighted in the article, as well as all the Veterans who make so many contributions to the university community.

A message from Dr. Cooper

November 11, 2021

“Dr. Cooper provided these photos from a Veterans Day event he attended this morning at the WWII Memorial in Washington.”

Each November 11th, we take time to thank Veterans for their sacrifices and to reflect on the magnitude of their service.  What started in 1947 as a simple gesture by a gentleman in Alabama to honor Veterans with an Armistice Day parade has become know to all Americans as Veterans Day.  

It is nearly impossible to find words that adequately convey what it means to be a soldier.  The men and women who have so selflessly served our country and helped to defend not only our way of life, but to make sure that the voice of freedom and democracy is never silenced, are owed a debt that can never be repaid.

Our world has seen enormous challenges to these principles, and the members of our armed forces have never backed down.  Their resolve makes our lives – and the lives of future Americans – the most envied in the world.  Today, let’s take extra pause to reflect on those sacrifices - by Veterans past and present - and to thank them for their service to country.  

Choose a giving level



Your contribution will allow a vet to take that first step towards a STEM career.



A contribution at this level will help cover the cost of program materials.



Your contribution at this level lets vets know they have a strong support network during their program.



Your contribution will cover the cost of preparing a vet's poster board presentation.



A contribution at this level will help cover the housing stipend provided to vets during enrollment in ELeVATE.


Game Changer

You are a game-changer. Your contribution will be the catalyst for future success in a STEM field for a deserving veteran.



The servicemen and women who defend our liberties deserve our unwavering support. Your gift will honor their commitment to country and support them as they begin a new chapter in their lives



Courage. Excellence. Character. Characteristics that define the soldier, and traits that will play an important role for former military as they enter college. Your gift signifies the highest level of respect and will instill confidence during their academic career.

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