Camp Pendleton Celebrates O2O Graduation

Camp Pendleton recognizes 18 service members and military spouses who have completed the Onward to Opportunity (O2O) career skills training program

Camp Pendleton, California (8/1/16) – Last week at Camp Pendleton, the Schultz Family Foundation (SFF) and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University recognized 18 service members and military spouses who completed the Onward to Opportunity (O2O) career skills training program.

As graduates of the O2O program, 11 transitioning service members and 7 military spouses from Camp Pendleton have completed a combination of classroom and online training in the areas of customer service excellence and information technology and, as a result, have earned industry-recognized credentials and certifications associated with their field of study. This latest class was the fourth cohort of O2O graduates at Camp Pendleton.

“Starting O2O was the best decision I made in my transition. The O2O team truly cares about helping individuals grow and prepare for another career. Thank you for giving me direction and helping me. You guys are the best!” said Vincent Grinner, U.S. Marine Corps – guest speaker at the July 28 graduation and an O2O graduate from Camp Pendleton’s third cohort.


Left to right: Ab Maldonado, O2O Program Manager; Tory Grinner, Cohort 4 graduate; Vincent Grinner, guest speaker and Cohort 3 graduate; and Aixa Escobar, O2O Program Coordinator at the Camp Pendleton O2O graduation.

Launched at Camp Pendleton in October 2015, O2O is a multi-phased process designed to help participants select the best training pathway, provide tailored training, and prepare our nation’s service members and their families for the process of successfully securing employment with one of our nation’s top military-friendly employers.

According to Ab Maldonado, O2O Program Manager at Camp Pendleton, there is a passion on Camp Pendleton to help transitioning service members and their families identify the ideal career path, assist in their career transition and achieve their career goals.

“The Onward to Opportunity program has the potential to fundamentally shift how the private sector engages and supports our servicemembers and their families as they navigate the transition to civilian employment,” says Dr. J. Michael Haynie, Executive Director and Founder of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), and Vice Chancellor at Syracuse University. “O2O’s ‘pipeline’ approach to workforce skills training, offered at Camp Pendleton, allows transitioning service members to receive training aligned with present and future demand in the labor market, supporting a ‘job-ready’ transition from military service to the civilian world of work.”

# # #

Wayne Westervelt
, Director of Communications, IVMF
Phone: (315) 443-5690 or Mobile: (315) 558-9483, Email:

Ab Maldonado, Onward to Opportunity/ Camp Pendleton Program Manager
(760) 373-0331, Email:

About the Schultz Family Foundation
Announced in 2015 in conjunction with U.S. Secretary of Defense, the Honorable Ashton Carter, Onward to Opportunity is the latest initiative of the foundation co-founded by Starbucks chairman and chief executive officer Howard Schultz and his wife Sheri Schultz. The Schultz Family Foundation, established in 1996 by Howard and Sheri Schultz, creates pathways of opportunity for populations facing barriers to success. The Foundation invests in innovative solutions and partnerships that unlock people’s potential, and strengthen our businesses, our communities, and our nation. In March 2014, the Schultz Family Foundation launched Onward Veterans, a national initiative that empowers post-9/11 and their families to successfully transition to civilian life. For more information about the Foundation and its work visit their site.

About Onward to Opportunity (O2O)
Onward to Opportunity (O2O) is a no-cost career skills program (no use of GI Bill Benefits) offering in-demand, industry-validated training and credentials to transitioning servicemembers and all active-duty spouses. Offered on U.S. military installations across the country, O2O provides in-person and online training to the next generation of leaders of America’s economy. O2O partners with leading veteran service organizations and private sector companies to identify employers committed to training and hiring veterans and military spouses. These employer partners are engaged throughout each phase of O2O delivery by assisting in curriculum design, interacting with participants as they progress through the program and identifying specific career paths and interview opportunities within their company that align with the skillsets of our graduates.

O2O brings together the longstanding curriculum development and program delivery expertise of the IVMF; the breadth of knowledge, reach, and specialty in business and state engagement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative; the honed personal touch of service member coaching and mentoring of Hire Heroes USA; and the philanthropic resources of the Schultz Family Foundation.

About the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF)
The IVMF is the first interdisciplinary national institute in higher education focused on the social, economic, education and policy issues impacting veterans and their families post-service. Supported by a world-class advisory board and public and private partners committed to advancing the post-service lives of America’s service members, veterans and their families, the IVMF delivers class-leading programs in career, vocations, and entrepreneurship education and training. The IVMF also provides actionable and national impacting research, policy analysis and program evaluation; coordinates comprehensive collective impact strategies; and works with communities and non-profits to enhance service delivery for veterans and their families. Read more about IVMF online.

Notify of