Northwest Kansas Technical College has formed a partnership with Athletes of Valor, an organization dedicated to helping service members transition into college after service and compete in college athletics. Northwest Tech is the first technical or community college in the nation to form a partnership and currently the only college in Kansas.
Athletes of Valor was founded by Alex Stone, former Product Manager with Under Armour and Marine Sergeant with two deployments to Iraq. During his time in the military he served alongside soldiers, who were former athletes, and others interested in participating in college-level athletics. Many service member, however, are either unaware that they can go back and play sports, or don’t know how to directly connect with college coaches. Alex and his team have streamlined this process. The company’s mission is to support transitioning servicemen and women from service to career by leveraging the power of collegiate sports.
“We are thrilled to have Northwest Tech on board,” commented Alex Stone. “Our platform adds incredible value to the technical college pipeline of athletes, and this partnership opens up many new opportunities for both parties. Many service members want to return to the athletic careers they left behind after graduating high school, and they now have opportunities to study, play, and stay engaged at colleges like Northwest Tech.”
The partnership grew out of an initial connection made between Athletes of Valor and Northwest Tech’s wrestling coach Mike Sebaaly. Once the connection was made, the college decided to embark on a partnership across all of the college’s athletic programs.
“By partnering with Athletes of Valor, this gives Northwest Tech another dimension to its level of recruiting and who we can contact,” said Northwest Tech’s Assistant Athletic Director, Rory Kling. “We become a more attractive college to attend by opening the door to a group of individuals that are often overlooked in athletics. By signing former military members this will bring leadership and a certain work ethic that we look for when it comes to being a member of Maverick Athletics.”
Recruiting veteran servicemen and women for technical programs is a natural fit for Northwest Tech. Often times the students have had technical training during their service and are already familiar with a hands-on education. “The level of maturity and experience these students bring to the classroom and locker room can be incredibly valuable,” said Northwest Tech’s president Ben Schears. “We will remain committed to providing a path toward an excellent education for those who have given their service in defense of our country.”
About Athletes of Valor
Founded by military veterans and former collegiate athletes, Athletes of Valor’s mission is to support transitioning servicemen and women from service to career by leveraging the power of collegiate sports. Their unique platform allows coaches, athletes, and corporate partners to find each other and connect for a mutually beneficial relationship. Playing sports provides veterans the support structure and camaraderie that they need when they return home, and veterans past and present provide a unique perspective, maturity and level of competitiveness to college teams.
Northwest Kansas Technical College was established in 1964 and is located in Goodland, Kansas The mission of Northwest Kansas Technical College as an institute of higher learning is to prepare individuals for gainful employment in technical and professional careers, productive personal lives, and lifelong learning.