WASHINGTON, D.C., August 24, 2016 — The Check-6 Foundation announced today that it has joined forces with Veterati, a website that connects veterans with free career mentoring, creating a partnership that will help both organizations reach greater numbers of veterans in need and improve the services they provide.
Veterati (www.veterati.com) will offer a portal from the Check-6 Foundation website (www.check6.org), making it simple for the veterans the foundation serves to connect to mentors or for supporters and industry experts to become one. The site uses questionnaire data to match veterans seeking advice with several possible mentors with expertise applicable to their situation and facilitates secure phone calls. The service is free for veterans and military spouses.
“This definitely helps us fulfill our mission of being a wingman to our veterans,” said Rob Balzano, Check-6 Founder and President, who has also serves as a Veterati mentor. “As Veterati grows and their database grows, that means much more talent and many more networking opportunities for all our veterans. We hope to leverage that by introducing Check-6 to the network.”
With more than 1.5 million veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce, Veterati aims to provide easy, free opportunities for unemployed or under employed veterans and military spouses to get career advice and make business connections that are often the best path to a job. Veterati co-founder and CEO Diana Tsai likened the service to the navigation application, Waze, saying advice provided by mentors with a variety of expertise enables veterans to find their best fit career, even if the path is different than first expected.
Check-6 offers financial aid to veterans in need and more informal one-on-one mentoring as part of its mission of helping veterans and children facing serious illnesses. They accomplish their “wingman” mission by focusing on six pillars that provide aid, assistance, inspiration, hope, purpose, and experiences. In its work with children, the Check-6 Foundation honors seriously ill children by supporting incredible experiences such as Pilot for a Day events, and provides the children and their families with financial help and ongoing support from a foundation wingman. The name Check-6 comes from pilots’ practice of checking each other’s 6 o’clock position for the presence of a threat — literally having each other’s back.
The organizations complement each other, providing veterans with mentorship on a scale that digital platforms provide and the personal touch that can only be achieved through one-on-one offline support.
“We’re scaling mentorship, but we see real value in partnering with organizations like Check-6 because they’re delivering real solutions on the ground,” Tsai said.
Veterati officially launched in January and has about 1,500 users, which are split nearly evenly between mentors and mentees. It has created similar partnerships with other nonprofits, including Blue Star Families and Student Veterans of America.
Balzano expects that working with Veterati will raise its visibility among users, which in turn may lead to increased opportunities to serve veterans and children. And later, both he and Tsai anticipate that veterans helped by each organization will also relish the opportunity to give back as a mentor to other veterans and, perhaps in the future, the children that Check-6 serves.
In addition, the aggregate data Veterati collects through user questionnaires can give organizations like Check-6 a better picture of the people it serves and how best to help them. To sign up as a mentor or mentee, please visit www.check6.org/veterati.