The Lead the Way Fund has been a charity trusted and respected by Rangers for years. They have worked tirelessly to support the families of fallen Rangers in memorial of Sgt. James J. Regan, killed in action in Iraq on February 9, 2007. They also help out wounded and disabled Rangers, and they continue to give to Rangers deployed overseas in whatever way they can.
Their next mission? To get Rangers to college upon their separation from the military.
Getting out of Ranger Battalion — and the military in general — is a difficult process, as you move from one lifestyle to the complete opposite in a matter of days. Something like applying to college can almost seem alien to a Ranger who just separated; even if the veteran is smart enough, that drastic change in the way things are done could be the difference between getting into an ivy league school or slipping through the cracks.
The Lead the Way Fund’s Collegiate Access Program (CAP) aims to bridge that gap, and it “provides our Rangers interested in advanced education with valuable tools and resources to help them navigate the difficult process of selecting and applying to these colleges.” This means assistance with testing, applications and even offering a two-week “boot-camp” dedicated to getting Rangers on the same page academically as other college students. CAP has also begun working toward getting people internship and job prospects as well.
This program isn’t just relegated to enlisted personnel ETSing and going for their undergrad — the CAP program assists Ranger veterans who want to go apply for graduate programs nationwide. They also assist officers in these endeavors.
Simply due to their connections and the strong Ranger community at the school, Columbia University has been the focus of many of their applicants. Myles Grantham is one such Ranger, who arrived to Columbia in 2014 and has since worked relentlessly to help his fellow Rangers through the application process, also becoming the director of the Lead the Way Fund’s CAP program. “Most of it spread through word of mouth,” Grantham told SOFREP, “Most Regiment guys want to go above and beyond and they see the opportunities here — not to mention some guys they served with might already be up here — why would they go anywhere else?” On top of Rangers, Grantham says there is a strong overall veteran community at Columbia, over 400 from all branches of service.
The opportunities at a place like Columbia reach far and wide. On top of the highest tier of quality education, Rangers have found themselves diving headfirst into all sorts of clubs, to include the Drone Club, Crypto Currency Club, Anti-Human Trafficking Club, White Water Rafting Club and the Ski Club. Grantham himself runs a hunting group called Hunt Culture, and he says that lots of guys wind up using the 3D printing facilities for all sorts of projects.
Grantham advises his fellow incoming Rangers in college to “[t]ake it slow, get the VA stuff in order, then turn up the heat.” He said that Rangers seem to fit right in at Columbia, as the school is known to have the most homework and least amount of sleep — things that Batt Boys tend the thrive on. On top of Columbia, Rangers are now applying and receiving acceptance letters from UPenn, Harvard, Duke, Princeton, Stanford, USC and Cornell, all by using the CAP program to their advantage.
Check out the Lead the Way Fund and everything else they’re doing at: www.leadthewayfund.org
Featured image: a group of CAP students with Mr. Regan, founder of the Lead the Way Fund. One of these students went to Harvard and just recently graduated. Picture provided by Mr. Grantham.