For Love Of CountryRead Veterans’ Stories
Read stories of veterans’ heroism on the battlefield and at home in the new book For Love of Country, by Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran. Visit ForLoveofCountrybook.com to purchase the book and learn ways you can help to bridge “civilian-military disconnect.”

For Love Of CountryCelebrate Veterans’ Service
Schultz Family Foundation has partnered with Starbucks, HBO and Chase to host The Concert For Valor this Veterans Day on the National Mall. Visit TheConcertForValor.com to watch the show and learn ways that you can get involved.

Building Pathways to Opportunity

Our economy is growing stronger, but our country is becoming increasingly divided. Economic mobility is rare and depends on access to opportunity through education, job training, and a web of support services. Too many talented young people cannot connect to these opportunities or realize their full potential.

The Schultz Family Foundation is working to close this opportunity divide. There are 5.6 million young adults who are out of school and the labor market and 2.6 million post-9/11 veterans transitioning to civilian life, with another million expected to return in the coming years. We see tremendous possibility in these two groups of young Americans. We see grit. Ambition. Talent. Resiliency. And America’s future.

Through our Onward Veterans and Onward Youth initiatives, we invest in innovative solutions that build pathways to opportunity. Our work is guided by three core beliefs.

  • Expanding opportunity is an imperative. More than ever employers demand educated, skilled employees, but with the soaring cost of higher education, these jobs are increasingly out of reach. Without access to opportunity, we fear the American Dream will become a thing of the past.
  • Investing in the next generation benefits everyone. Our nation’s veterans and young adults are our greatest untapped resource. They are motivated and talented. They are our country’s future voters, consumers, parents, and leaders. For our economy and our country to thrive, veterans and young people must be empowered to succeed.
  • We’re stronger together. Closing the opportunity divide requires bold leadership and innovation across sectors. We believe in working together – government, the private sector, non-profits, and philanthropy – to provide young adults and veterans with the support they need to realize their potential.

To us, “Onward” isn’t just a rally cry. It signifies optimism with eyes wide open and a journey that honors the past and fuels the future.

Please join us on this journey.

Onward. . .

– Howard and Sheri Schultz

Onward

Onward Veterans

Empowering those who volunteered to serve

Doing the right thing for our veterans
will build a stronger America

We are in the midst of the longest period of sustained warfare in U.S. history. Yet, with an all-volunteer military, less than one percent of the population has served.

The civilian world routinely pays little attention to veterans’ sacrifices. Meanwhile, the government does a better job of preparing young men and women for war than preparing them to come back home.

More than 2.6 million post-9/11 veterans have already re-entered civilian life. Another million will follow in the next few years. We all share in the responsibility to ensure that their welcome home doesn’t end with a simple “thank you for your service.”

In 2011, Howard and Sheri Schultz began a learning tour that led them from West Point to Walter Reed Medical Center to military bases around the country. Through their interactions with service members, they developed a better understanding of the unique skills our post-9/11 veterans have to offer – and made a commitment to do right by those who do so much to protect our freedom.

In March 2014, the Schultz Family Foundation announced Onward Veterans, a national initiative that empowers post-9/11 veterans and their families in their transition to civilian life. Our returning service members have diverse skills demanded by today’s civilian labor force, including impressive work ethics, leadership, and strategic problem-solving abilities. The Onward Veterans initiative is designed to recognize and employ these unique traits to make our nation better and stronger.

Onward Veterans is focused on investing in research and treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury; enhancing employment opportunities through innovative training and career placement; and facilitating access to services for veterans and their families.

To further these efforts, SFF also works to engage a civilian population that does not fully appreciate military experience or capitalize on the skills of those who have served. The recently released For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us about Citizenship, Heroism, and Sacrifice by Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran shares powerful stories that will hopefully raise awareness of the contributions post-9-11 veterans make at home and abroad, and bridge the “civilian-military disconnect” by highlighting the strengths and talents of our veterans.

Discover what motivated Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran to write For Love of County and why bridging the civilian-military disconnect is vital for our nation's future.


Learn why the Onward Veterans initiative was launched.


The people who have served have extraordinary skills. There would be a significant loss if we don’t recognize the value that the military can bring to the business community and American society at large.

– Howard Schultz

Schultz Family Foundation leadership with Lt. Commander Kaj Larsen, U.S. Navy SEAL team at the Onward Veterans strategy launch, March 2014
Photo credit: Barbara Kinney Photography
Howard and Sheri Schultz with Lt. Col. Kellie McCoy at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.
Photo credit: Barbara Kinney Photography

Consider This

Each day, 540 service members transition out of the military.

Thirty percent of veterans who have served and returned since 9/11 suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress; 25% have experienced a Traumatic Brain Injury.

22 veterans commit suicide each day.

Unemployment among post-9/11 veterans is 12.1%, almost double the national average.

There are roughly 10,000 homeless post-9/11 veterans.

Onward

Onward Youth

A launchpad for young adults in transition

Our economy is growing, but young adults are increasingly left behind.

They enter a job market that demands highly-educated workers, yet the cost of education is staggering and out of reach. They have talent and drive, but lack access to the training and the tools needed to realize their dreams.

Too many young people are disconnected from opportunity.

Unemployment among young adults is twice the national average.  There are 5.6 million Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither in school nor working. Because we believe in their enormous and untapped potential, we call them “Opportunity Youth.” And they believe in it, too. According to the Civilian Enterprises & America’s Promise Alliance, 77 percent of Opportunity Youth think that education and securing a good job are their responsibility.

However, it is our collective responsibility – government, private sector, and philanthropy – to ensure they have the resources they need to excel.

Job training for those who are eager and ready to work promises huge rewards. Young people bring vitality and drive that adds value to our economy; employers provide the platform for young adults to step up to success.

The Schultz Family Foundation leverages unique partnerships that create new possibilities for Opportunity Youth. Through a partnership with the Starbucks Foundation and YouthBuild USA, SFF has established a Retail Excellence Training Program that provides training for meaningful jobs, customized educational opportunities, life skills, and holistic support services.

Pilot sites include YouthCare in Seattle, Washington; CLIMB in Gulfport, Mississippi; and Abyssinian Development Corporation in East Harlem, New York. Graduates from the one-year program possess the skills necessary to excel in any retail or customer-facing job.

SFF understands the importance of collective impact and aims to voice the challenges of Opportunity Youth. We work to stimulate a conversation among business leaders, philanthropists, and those who support young people every day to ensure that the potential these young adults represent can be realized for us all.

Our mission is to identify and empower young people whose fate can have a ripple effect on our communities and our nation as a whole.

– Sheri Schultz

Schultz Family Foundation is proud to invest in young people through job training, educational opportunities,
and support services.
Photo credit: YouthBuild USA
Portland YouthBuild students study together in a math class.
Photo credit: YouthBuild USA