Opportunity Project Receives Grant from Bob Woodruff Foundation to Provide Services to Veterans

August 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Events, News

Opportunity Project is proud to announce their new Veterans program made possible in part by a grant from the Bob Woodruff Foundation.


Arlene Lieberman, Vocational Counselor assists its first Veteran member with a Clubhouse project.

The Veterans program was created through a partnership between Opportunity Project and the VA East Orange – New Jersey Health Care System.   As part of this partnership, Opportunity Project has committed to provide vocational services to Veterans who have sustained a traumatic brain injury.

The Opportunity Project Clubhouse is the only program in New Jersey that provides vocational services exclusively to adults with brain injury.   The Opportunity Project Clubhouse follows International Brain Injury Clubhouse Standards based on the philosophy of a “work ordered day”.  This structure provides pre-vocational and vocational opportunities that assist its members in developing a work personality, appropriate social behavior and training in a real work environment. The Opportunity Project Vocational Program provides Work Evaluation, Work Adjustment Training and Supported Employment services. Through the vocational program, individuals with brain injury are provided with the necessary support, tools, and guidance to obtain and maintain competitive employment.  Both group and individual sessions and workshops are provided on a variety of topics such as resume writing, work ethics, behavior, interviewing skills and interpersonal skills.

Opportunity Projects newest member and first veteran member, Tyronne, was an electrical systems apprentice in the United States Air Force, stationed at Anderson Air Force Base in Guam, when he sustained his traumatic brain injury in an automobile crash.  “By coming to Opportunity Project, I am working towards progress in my goals.  I want to help other people who have had a TBI” said Tyronne.  Tyronne’s goal is to go to school to become a psychologist.

The Bob Woodruff Foundation provides resources and support to injured service members, veterans, and their families so they can have successful futures.  “Our Clubhouse program provides a sense of community to its members in a supportive and challenging environment where they can explore their abilities and talents.  This funding will enable us to begin the next stage of our Vocational program by allowing us to provide support to post 9-11 injured service members, veterans and their families.  We are very appreciative of the funding and support of our mission by the Bob Woodruff Foundation,” said Carol Albanese, Executive Director, Opportunity Project.

“The Bob Woodruff Foundation finds and funds strong and impactful organizations that help service members reintegrate. Our investments are designed to empower service members as they find their “new normal”. Opportunity Project is helping brain injury survivors find purpose and fulfillment in vocational activity during an important stage in their recovery,” said Anne Marie Dougherty, executive director of the Bob Woodruff Foundation.

Co-founded by award-winning ABC News reporter Bob Woodruff after he sustained serious injuries while covering the Iraq War in 2006; the Bob Woodruff Foundation is the national non-profit dedicated to providing resources and support to service members, veterans and their families to successfully reintegrate into their communities so that they thrive physically, psychologically, socially and economically. The Bob Woodruff Foundation has invested $12 million in over 70 organizations, impacting more than 1,000,000 service members, support personnel, veterans and their families nationwide. For more information about the Bob Woodruff Foundation, please visit www.ReMIND.org

Opportunity Project has been at the forefront of community integration and empowerment for brain injury survivors since it opened its doors in 1996.  With the addition of the vocational services program in 2001, Opportunity Project continues to be the only free-standing independent Clubhouse in New Jersey.  The Opportunity Project Clubhouse Program fills the critical gap in the rehabilitation process for people with brain injuries, and is a national model for other community-based services brain injury survivors.

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