Video Game Publisher Funds Veterans Scholarships

The Call of Duty Endowment (CODE) has donated $50,000 to the Austin Community College Foundation for scholarships benefiting veteran students.

The ACC Foundation will award $10,000 in scholarships annually through 2014, with four students selected each year to receive $2,500. The program, created by CODE earlier this year to help address the issue of veterans’ unemployment, will assist students who are former service members as they pursue their education in video game design and graphic arts fields. The 2010 ACC recipients are Lucas Braun, Joshua Carr, Jesse Henderson, and Daniel Stevenson.

The Call of Duty Endowment is a non-profit, public benefit corporation created by Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) in November 2009. The organization seeks to help veterans transitioning to civilian life find work and establish careers and to assist other organizations that provide job placement and training.

“We are pleased to form this new partnership with Activision Blizzard, Inc. and the Call of Duty Endowment,” said Edwina Carrington, chair of the ACC Foundation. “The ACC Foundation has focused on providing resources to individuals who desire to further their education, and this new scholarship program benefits such a special group of students who have done so much for our country.”

Steve Robinson, a member of the CODE advisory board, explained why the scholarship program was created: “The Call of Duty Endowment has provided numerous organizations with the financial dollars to help continue their work towards getting more veterans employed. With that in mind, we also wanted to provide resources to the vets themselves, who are back in school studying a field that will let them begin a new career once their service has been completed.”

The veterans chosen are full-time or part-time students currently enrolled at Austin Community College. They have diverse backgrounds and varied military experiences. Braun served in the Army, while Carr and Henderson served in the Navy; Stevenson was in the Marine Corps.

“We chose students in the field of graphic design and video game development, because it’s a natural link to Activision Blizzard, the creators of the Call of Duty Endowment and largest video game publisher in the world,” said Robinson. “It was important for us to show how some of our nation’s proudest young veterans can find fulfilling and rewarding 21st century careers in this industry.”

The issue of unemployment among veterans is a grave issue facing the nation. This past spring, the Labor Department announced the unemployment rate last year for young Iraq and Afghanistan veterans was at 21.1 percent, almost double the national average.

Activision Blizzard, a worldwide online, PC and console video game publisher and publisher of the best-selling Call of Duty® video game franchise, created CODE with a commitment to donate and raise millions of dollars to help increase awareness of veterans’ unemployment.

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