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MCEC Awarded Grant from The USAA Foundation, Inc. to Launch SchoolQuestâ„¢

Posted: August 21, 2019

Digital Tool Supports the Academic Progress of Military-Connected Children.

The Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) received a three year grant from The USAA Foundation,
Inc. to underwrite SchoolQuest™, an innovative, user-friendly, web-based tool designed to enlighten and
empower the parents of military and veteran-connected children. SchoolQuest™ will enable parents from
all branches of the military to prepare themselves and their children to mitigate the educational challenges
associated with frequent moves and other unique stressors of a military lifestyle that might otherwise
adversely affect their academic success. This inventive parent resource will not only provide critical
information but will also allow parents to develop a highly individualized academic journey map for each
child.

An idea that originated with MCEC President and CEO, Dr. Mary Keller, SchoolQuest™ will be an
interactive virtual hub where parents of students in grade 6 through the first year of college can find
information, tools, and resources centralized on a single platform. The creation of SchoolQuest™ is
based on several studies in which MCEC has been involved, including “Mitigating the Impact of School
Mobility,” a study commissioned by MCEC, conducted in 2018 by The Center for Public Research and
Leadership at Columbia University and underwritten by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The study was
designed to understand the adverse effects of repeated school moves on student performance and
emotional well-being. A key finding in the study emphasized the importance a smooth and efficient
enrollment has in helping students transition to a new school. Leveraging technology to break new
ground in this area, MCEC believes there is an opportunity through SchoolQuest™ to compile in one
location the questions parents may not even know to ask and the resources they need to address the
challenges their children face due to mobility related to the military lifestyle.

According to Dr. Keller, SchoolQuest™ will “assist parents in becoming their child’s best advocate by
providing critical information in a timely and convenient way to support their military-connected students
through frequent school transitions which can impact their K-12 experience.”

“We know when military personnel serve, their whole family serves, too. The USAA Foundation, Inc. is
humbled to be able to support this groundbreaking, first-of-its-kind tool for military children,” said
Harriet Dominique, senior vice president of Corporate Responsibility and Community Affairs at USAA
and President of The USAA Foundation, Inc. “That’s why USAA’s corporate responsibility strategy
prioritizes support for military children and their well-being,” said Dominique.

As the primary users of SchoolQuest™, military parents’ feedback will figure prominently at every phase
of the platform’s development. A parent working group will be created comprised of military-connected
parents who have experience working with the MCEC Parent to Parent™ program, as well as others who
come from all branches of military service. The working group will have a significant role in the
development of the platform, provide feedback and participate in the pilot phase to test, refine and
improve the tool.

“The parents of military and veteran-connected children face a multitude of challenges when it comes to
making sure their children have the most successful academic career possible. When you consider that
most military-connected children change schools between 6 and 9 times before they graduate high school,
coupled with the challenges of navigating states’ different graduation requirements, a tool designed with
military families in mind is critical,” said Judy Glennon, Parent to Parent™ program manager.

MCEC has contracted with Monkee-Boy, an award-winning digital strategy, design, marketing, and
execution agency based in Austin, TX, as its lead technology partner for the project. Anticipated to
launch as a pilot prototype in late 2019, this tool is expected to benefit military families worldwide.
Established in 1998, MCEC is a nonprofit organization that solely exits to help military-connected
children and youth thrive. The MCEC mission is to ensure inclusive quality educational opportunities for
all military-connected children affected by mobility, transition, deployments and family separation.

The Military Child Education Coalition serves the children of those who serve us all and encourages
efforts that strengthen our military children and ensure opportunities for their quality education.

The USAA Foundation, Inc.'s purpose is to lead and inspire actions that improve lives in the military and
the local communities it serves. The USAA Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit organization, does not endorse
or promote any commercial supplier, product or service. USAA is the sponsor of The USAA Foundation,
Inc.

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