May 29, 2012
American Student Assistance Receives Award for Support of Employees Serving in the Military
“Above and Beyond Award” Presented to the Boston-Based Nonprofit
American Student Assistance employees and U.S. military veterans: (L-R): Craig Desmarais, David Peckza, Gene Greene, Neil Lynch, Islande Cadichon, Mike Tierney, and Bill Reilly, accompanied by ESGR’s John Pelose.
Boston, MA May 29, 2012 – American Student Assistance (ASA), a Boston-based nonprofit that empowers college students and alumni to successfully manage and repay their student loan debt, will receive the “Above and Beyond Award,” which recognizes the organization’s extraordinary support of employees serving in the military.
The award, given by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an agency of the Department of Defense, is presented to a limited number of employers in the region who have gone above and beyond the legal requirements for granting employee leave as well as other leadership and personnel policies that support employee participation in the National Guard and Reserve. This includes providing support with pay differential to offset the loss of wages, and extension of health care benefits which complement coverage provided by the military when their employees are mobilized.
“Military service represents an incredible sacrifice on the part of both our colleagues who serve and their families,” said Paul Combe, ASA President. “We are pleased to do what we can to support our employees who honorably serve our country in the National Guard or Reserve.”
Currently ASA has five employees who have self-identified as either active members of the military or veterans. The organization participates in the ESGR’s Employment Initiative Program, which connects hiring employers with the talented pool of service members and spouses.
“I have been deployed twice during my four years with ASA and each time the organization has really gone above and beyond,” said Islande Cadichon of Weymouth, MA, ASA Business Analyst and member of the Army Reserve. “Not only have I always been able to resume my former position and all my benefits with no hassle, but ASA has also allowed me to advance my career by exploring other departments and areas of interest within the company.”
“I was able to raise more than $1500 for the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program for veterans and families affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, thanks to the generosity of my ASA colleagues and their help in securing a venue and food for the fundraising event,” said Craig Desmarais of Malden, MA (originally from Granby, MA), ASA Repayment Counselor and former member of the 104th Massachusetts Air National Guard. “I am proud to be a part of an organization that recognizes both the sacrifices that veterans make and the unfortunate consequences that can happen to them.”
“The ‘Above and Beyond’ Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize American employers who provide extraordinary patriotic support and cooperation to their employees, who like the citizen warriors before them, have answered their nation’s call to serve,” said Thomas Boyle, ESGR Massachusetts Chair. “Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s National Guard and Reserve units.”
For more information on the Above and Beyond Award, visit http://esgr.org/site/fi/Programs/AboveandBeyondAward.aspx.
About Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve
As the 1.3 million members of the National Guard and Reserve continue to perform an increasing number of unique missions within America’s borders and beyond, ESGR will continue to be the resource for the employers of citizen warriors. ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between employers and service members. More information about ESGR Employer Outreach Programs and volunteer opportunities is available at www.esgr.mil, or by calling Ellie Cash, Program Support Specialist of the Massachusetts ESGR at 508-233-7249.
About American Student Assistance
American Student Assistance is a private nonprofit whose public purpose mission is to empower students and alumni to successfully manage and repay their college loan debt. We do this by providing student loan education and enabling the development of financial competencies through the use of innovative web-based tools and trusted, neutral advice”all free of charge to students and alumni. Through a game-changing educational membership program called “SALT,” we equip students and alumni with money skills for life so they reduce their student loan debt, improve student loan repayment outcomes, and increase their overall financial empowerment. Established in 1956 and based in Boston, ASA employs approximately 450 associates and has been recognized by the Boston Business Journal and Boston Globe as one of the region’s best places to work. Visit www.asa.org or call 617.728.4631 for more information.