Veterans for Peace announces college scholarships

Gainesville Veterans for Peace Chapter 14 announces its sixth annual Peace Scholarship Program for the spring of 2020. We are awarding three college scholarships of $750 each for Alachua County high school seniors, college students or adults with a commitment to activities including: social justice and peace, equal justice, conflict resolution and/or nonviolent social change.

Veterans for Peace created these scholarships to give financial support to students in Alachua County, Florida who are planning careers in pursuit of a world of social justice and equity. 

The majority of Veterans for Peace scholarships awarded thus far have gone to first-generation college students, as well as to community college students. 

2016 Santa Fe College scholarship recipient Doug Bernal is an Iraq War veteran who explains the economic challenges facing student veterans: “Like many newly separated veterans, I struggled financially for quite some time after leaving the service. Unsure of where I wanted to go in life and lacking the confidence to pursue higher education, I found myself taking on more debt as time went on. When I finally decided to pursue school, it was difficult to purchase books and pay bills while waiting for my GI Bill benefits to come through. I didn’t initially have the grades for financial aid, so the VFP scholarship was instrumental in getting me the books I so desperately needed and putting me on a path to a successful college experience.” 

By creating this scholarship, Veterans for Peace is attempting to follow the example of Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai who has urged the U.S. to end wars and to refocus on education as a tool of economic justice.

Please help Gainesville Veterans for Peace spread the word about this scholarship program!

To be eligible to apply for the Peace Scholarship, the applicant must be (1) a resident of Alachua County, (2) a high school senior planning to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school in the United States for the 2019-20 academic year, or (2) a college student currently enrolled and in good standing, or (3) an adult student enrolling in higher education who needs financial assistance.

Peace Scholarship applicants will also be asked to provide a brief personal statement and evidence of leadership and/or personal initiative in activities in an organization (including volunteer or paid work) relating to peace and social justice, conflict resolution and/or nonviolent social change. Applicants will also need to provide two letters of recommendation. 


The application (PDF file) must be downloaded from the Gainesville Veterans for Peace website, printed out, completed and postal mailed to:

Paul Ortiz

C/O Veterans for Peace Scholarship Program

2115 NW 7th Lane

Gainesville, Florida 32603

The postmarked deadline for the application is April 24.

Peace Scholarship recipients will be announced at the Gainesville VFP Peace Poetry Awards Ceremony in May. 

For questions, contact Paul Ortiz at: or 831-334-0131.

The full announcement and instructions for applying may be found on our web site, at

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