Business & Finance Academy welcomes veterans affairs officer

Published 6:28 pm Friday, November 10, 2023

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In addition to core academic courses, students attending Pike County Schools Business & Finance Academy also take industry-specific classes related to business and banking topics. Academy students also have numerous opportunities to be involved in community service activities.

And, those opportunities are important just as are the dollar and cents of banking, said Dixie Shehane, Troy Bank & Trust school liaison. “Community involvement is important for our Business and Finance Academy students because banking is about people and community.”

The connection between the two became personal when Randy Ross, Pike County Veterans Affairs officer, put a face on the academy’s current community service project. Collecting personal items for local veterans

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Shehane said the service project was and is an opportunity for the academy students to participate in a work-based learning activity that puts their lessons into practice.

The collected items were placed in boxes, one for Auburn, one for Alabama. The competition was friendly but competitive and both boxes filled fast.

Ross expressed appreciation to the students for their support of veterans and what it means as they too often struggle in their efforts to return to and become a part of society.

The suicide rate among America’s veterans continues to be a concern throughout the country and Alabama has one of the nation’s highest suicide rates.

Ross shared how the veterans’ associations at Auburn and Alabama have come together to increase the public’s knowledge of the suicide epidemic among the nation’s veterans.

Since 2018, during each Iron Bowl, student veterans, veteran alumni and ROTC from both Auburn and Alabama embark on a 151-mile ruck starting at the away team’s stadium and ending at the home team’s stadium.

On Iron Bowl day ruckers will leave Bryant Denny Stadium and walk to Jordan Hare Stadium with 22 nameless dog tags to honor the 22 veterans said to take their lives by suicide each day.

At Jordan Hare Stadium, the ruckers will join the football players in the Tiger Walk and hand off the game ball to the officials.