Thunderbirds Charities Support Character and Civic Education Through Grant Award

March 15, 2022 (Phoenix, Ariz.)

A recent grant awarded to Veterans Heritage Project (VHP) from Thunderbirds Charities will support the organization’s character and civic education program which Connects Students with Veterans.TM

Civic learning experts agree that civic education must include service-learning or project-based activities, because these experiences are necessary for students to build communication and collaboration skills, to be exposed to people with different perspectives, and to learn how to engage with the greater community. (Brookings Institute, 2020).

Thanks to Thunderbirds Charities funding, Veterans Heritage Project provides such activities through their innovative after-school program.  Middle school and high school students interview a veteran, research history, and write and publish the veterans’ experiences into a hardbound book entitled Since You Asked.TM Students organize a free community book reception to honor their veterans and present them with the book.  On August 14, 2022 at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort and Villas, fifteen local school partners and their honored veterans will gather for this memorable event.  The public is welcome and will have the opportunity to meet veterans during a book signing.
Grant funds are helping students reach their potential and bonding our community through increased civic engagement. Annual student and veteran surveys indicate that 100% of students graduate high school, 90% are increasing their leadership, academic, and 21st century skills, and 85% of students develop a mentoring relationship with a veteran. On average, 25% of veterans tell their story for the first time, 62% find the experience cathartic, and 100% would recommend participating to another veteran.
book signing

About Veterans Heritage Project (VHP)

Founded in 2004 and established as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit in 2009, VHP’s mission is to Connect Students with Veterans™ in order to honor veterans, preserve America’s heritage, and develop future leaders. VHP facilitates an after-school program impacting 13,000 students, while interviewing up to 300 veterans annually. Their first-person accounts of history are preserved in the Library of Congress and through the student publication, Since You Asked.™ The award-winning program develops students’ leadership, confidence, character, and 21st century skills. Program elements also include community book receptions, veteran presentations, civic engagement, and college scholarships. The curriculum is designated as a Character Education Program by the Arizona Department of Education and is aligned with Arizona's College and Career Readiness Standards.  To learn more, visit

About The Thunderbirds/Thunderbirds Charities

Thunderbirds Charities is a non-profit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament. The mission of Thunderbirds Charities is to assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in our communities. The organization’s giving is directed toward organizations based or with a significant presence in Arizona. The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. For more information on The Thunderbirds or the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit For more information on Thunderbirds Charities, visit