- Posted July 8, 2014 by
Los Angeles, California
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Team Rubicon Announces 2nd Class of Clay Hunt Fellows Program
Program Helps Veterans Translate Leadership Skills to Civilian Workforce
Team Rubicon is proud to announce the second class of the Clay Hunt Fellows Program, a year-long leadership and training program for military veterans.
The intent of the program is to develop competent professionals, capable of competing in the emergency management workforce, as well as to strengthen the veteran-led disaster relief organization.
“Today’s military does a tremendous job preparing veterans with numerous ‘soft skills’ such as: leadership, teamwork, risk analysis, priority tasking and work ethic,” said Jake Wood, cofounder and CEO of Team Rubicon. “However, many veterans leave the military unprepared with the ‘hard skills’ necessary to thrive in a tough, civilian job market.”
Six fellows, from across the country, were named for the second class of 2014. Fellows will gain cross-functional leadership experience and be equipped with the basic skills required for nonprofit and emergency management.
The fellows will also lead projects, in which they will assess the region they support and come up with a project idea – how they can improve one aspect of Team Rubicon. Results will be presented to Team Rubicon leadership for potential implementation across the organization.
“The Clay Hunt Fellows Program is the cornerstone in Team Rubicon's approach to developing the future leaders of this organization,” said Matthew Runyon, an Army veteran and director of program operations for Team Rubicon. “As Team Rubicon continues its growth, we will lean heavily on these fellows to ensure mission success.”
With this class running concurrently with the first class of fellows, they will also build upon lessons already learned.
The fellows will receive a $12,000 stipend for the program year, thanks to the Bob Woodruff Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project, nonprofits dedicated to ensuring service members and their families are thriving long after they return home.
In addition to the skills they will acquire, the fellows are expected to represent Team Rubicon in the spirit of the program’s namesake, Clay Hunt, holding the program and the organization in the highest regard.
Hunt, was a Marine veteran and an original member of Team Rubicon. Hunt served in the infantry alongside Wood, in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2007, he was wounded in action by an enemy sniper. Upon his return home, Hunt struggled with post-traumatic stress.
Hunt repeatedly stated that the opportunity to serve humanity around the globe with Team Rubicon was the most therapeutic experience he’d had since the Marine Corps; however, he lost his battle with PTS, taking his own life in 2011. Family and friends agreed that at the core of Clay’s trouble was his lack of mission, community and self-worth—three things that Team Rubicon provided, albeit not on a large enough scale in early 2011.
“Clay was one of my dearest friends, like a brother,” said Wood. “We owe it to him, and all who serve, to ensure that our veterans are afforded a successful transition home. Not only are these fellows some of the best America has to offer, I’m confident that they are going to make a true difference—not only with Team Rubicon, but in their own communities where they continue to serve.”
The 2014 Clay Hunt Fellows:
Michael Davidson, Honolulu, Hawaii, served in the U.S. Navy for 23 years, and deployed to Afghanistan and Operation Desert Storm.
Lourdes Tiglao, Falls Church, Va., served in the U.S. Air Force for 11 years, and deployed to Afghanistan.
Adam Szafran, Gray, Maine, served in the Army National Guard for eight years, and deployed to Iraq.
Breaux Burns, Durango, Colo., served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve for eight years, and deployed to Iraq.
Tegan Shermikas, The Dalles, Ore., served in the U.S. Army for three years, including in Iraq.
Nathan Zaugg, Indianapolis, Ind., served in the U.S. Marine Corps for five years, including in Iraq.
Since its founding in the wake of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, Team Rubicon has grown from eight to 16,000 volunteers and launched more than 60 operations at home and abroad. In 2014, it looks to build on this momentum to not only respond to more crises, but to replicate Team Rubicon in other countries.
To learn more about Team Rubicon’s mission, visit http://teamrubiconusa.org.
About Team Rubicon: Team Rubicon (TR) unites the skills and experience of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. TR offers veterans a chance to continue their service by helping and empowering those afflicted by disasters, and also themselves. For more about Team Rubicon, visit www.teamrubiconusa.org.