Efforts will provide debt-relieving scholarships and transitional job opportunities to enable veterans to serve their communities
CHICAGO, May 15, 2019 – Modelo, the beer brewed for those with The Fighting Spirit™, is expanding its cause marketing campaign – The Modelo Fighting Chance Project – with a new partner: Chicago-based nonprofit Leave No Veteran Behind. Modelo’s funding will provide educational scholarships and support Leave No Veteran Behind’s transitional jobs program, offering veterans a fresh financial start so they can continue to serve their communities.
Veterans have an inherent Fighting Spirit, but for too many, the fight isn’t over when they return home. They face high rates of underemployment and job turnover1, and increasingly, serious student loan debt. It is a common misconception that all members of the U.S. military have access to free post-secondary education. Not covered by the GI Bill, educational debt in the U.S. for active duty military amounts to nearly $3 billion2, and 46% of veterans default on their student loans – significantly higher than the default rate of non-veteran students3.
Modelo is helping toaddress these critical social issues by funding scholarships for five deserving veterans nationwide, who are now completely education debt-free. In addition, Modelo’s support will help fund a transitional jobs program that places an average of 70-100 veterans each day in jobsdedicated to preventing violence in at-risk neighborhoods across Chicagoland. To receive scholarships or job assistance, veterans commit to pay it forward through 100-400 hours of community service, using both their military skills and civilian education to create stronger, more successful communities here at home.
“We launched The Modelo Fighting Chance Project in 2018 to give back to the people and communities that helped build and inspire our brand, and Leave No Veteran Behind embodies that mission,” said Greg Gallagher, Vice President of Brand Marketing for Modelo. “For years, we’ve celebrated veterans’ military service. Now, we’re giving them a fighting chance to achieve financial independence, helping to empower them to build a better life as civilians and continue to serve their communities.”
Education is an essential lifeline for veterans after the military. While they have countless intangible skills, many veterans require industry-specific education and training to begin successful civilian careers4. The five Leave No Veteran Behind scholarship recipients all have a different story, but each has demonstrated a Fighting Spirit and commitment to serving their country – both at home and abroad. Veteran recipients include:
- Andrew Barnard of Vista, California: a biology major who volunteers in South America to build housing for local families
- Vickie Dills of Worcester, Massachusetts: a director of clinical services at an outpatient physical therapy clinic who volunteers her services to military recruits
- Paula Herrera of Miami, Florida: a medical assistant passionate about improving the health of her patients
- Michael Rodriguez of Worcester, Massachusetts: a professional for a shared workplace company who volunteers forland conservation initiatives
- Woodrow Roeback of Los Angeles, California: a certified rehabilitation counselor who specializes in mental wellness of veterans and their families
“These heroes pursue higher education to better themselves as soldiers and citizens, bringing their expertise to both the military and civilian workplace,” said Eli Williamson, co-founder of Leave No Veteran Behind. “We can’t afford to let them slip through the cracks once they return home. They urgently need our support.”
Modelo will raise awareness of its support of Leave No Veteran Behind with a summer retail program, featuring limited-edition secondary promotional packaging and POS materials, and by sharing scholarship recipients’ stories on social media. The brand is also featuring veteran and professional triathlete, Melissa Stockwell, as part of a broader marketing campaign to highlight veterans’ Fighting Spirit.
About The Modelo Fighting Chance Project
Launched in 2018, The Modelo Fighting Chance Project is a cause marketing campaign to help empower those that embody The Fighting Spirit™, yet need support to achieve their full potential. Through this initiative, Modelo is aligning with nonprofit organizations across three key economic empowerment pillars – career development, financial stability and entrepreneurship. The International Rescue Committee (IRC) was the first nonprofit Modelo has partnered with through The Modelo Fighting Chance Project, with a commitment to donate a minimum $1 million donation over a three-year period to help provide refugees, immigrants and Americans in need the financial tools to achieve their vision of the American dream. In 2019, Modelo deepened its commitment through a new partner: Chicago-based nonprofit Leave No Veteran Behind.
Born in 1925 in the small town of Tacuba, Mexico, Modelo has been bringing distinctive high-quality beer to people ever since, including Modelo Especial®, Modelo Negra®, Modelo Chelada Especial™, Modelo Chelada Tamarindo Picante™ and NEW Modelo Chelada Limón y Sal™. Modelo Especial is a golden, full-flavored Pilsner-style Lager with a clean, crisp finish whose original recipe was first brewed under the vision to create a 'model' beer. As the #1 imported beer in the U.S., Modelo Especial recently surpassed 100MM cases sold in 2018. Modelo Negra is a Munich Dunkel-style Lager brewed with slow-roasted caramel malts for a rich, smooth taste. Modelo now has three authentic flavors that bring to life the Mexican michelada tradition for consumers in the U.S.: classic Modelo Chelada Especial, sweet and spicy Modelo Chelada Tamarindo Picante and the brand’s newest addition, Modelo Chelada Limon Y Sal. The Modelo family of beers are exclusively brewed, imported and marketed for the U.S. by Constellations Brands.
About Leave No Veteran Behind
Leave No Veteran Behind (LNVB) is one of the only veteran non-profits built around the premise that every veteran is a tremendous asset to their community. LNVB is a national social venture that invests in veterans to build better communities through employment training, transitional jobs, and our veteran educational debt relief scholarship. The organization started 10 years ago by two Army veterans from the south side of Chicago, when they encountered transition challenges and a want to improve their community. Leave No Veteran Behind invests in heroes who have served their country honorably and who seek to continue their service as assets in communities across America. LNVB is a 501c3. For more information, visit www.leavenoveteranbehind.org.
About Constellation Brands
Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) (NYSE:STZ.B), a Fortune 500® company, is a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand, Italy and Canada. Constellation is the third-largest producer and marketer of beer for the U.S. market and the world’s leading premium wine company with a leading market position in the U.S. Constellation’s wine portfolio is complemented by select premium spirits brands. Constellation’s brand portfolio includes Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra, Pacifico, Ballast Point, Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, Mark West, Franciscan Estate, Ruffino, The Prisoner, SVEDKA Vodka, Casa Noble Tequila and High West Whiskey. We express our company vision: to elevate life with every glass raised. To learn more, follow us on Twitter @cbrands and visit www.cbrands.com.