Each month, Capitol Post interviews a veteran-focused nonprofit. This month, we spoke with Four Block Foundation, a nonprofit that equips Post-9/11 student veterans to find meaningful careers and maximize their potential through a 12-week program and a network of alumni and partners.
Non-Profit Name: Four Block Foundation
Year Founded: 2012
Executive Director Name: Mike Abrams
Key Members: Eric Ahn, Pat Murray, Chris Vasiliou
HQ: New York, NY
Number of Full-Time Employees: 5
Brief Organization Description: Four Block equips Post-9/11 student veterans to find meaningful careers and maximize their potential through a 12-week program and a network of alumni and partners.
Little-Known Fact About Your Organization or Founders:
– Our founder is the Commanding Officer of Battery M, 3rd Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment out of Chattanooga, TN.
– A few years back, a Marine officer, who had a NYU Stern MBA, was tasked with putting labels on DVDs at his new job. Because of his first-hand experience of just how little companies knew how to use their veteran employees’ true value, Mike Abrams founded Four Block to bridge this gap.
What makes your organization unique?
Four Block is a community of both veterans and organizational partners. Our aim is not just to prepare veterans for meaningful careers, but also educate companies on creating an environment that maximizes veteran potential.
You are a non-profit associated with veterans or the military. How has military service influenced your organization?
It drives everything we do. Each of us has a particular passion for mentoring veterans and helping them succeed, whether it’s because we were squad leaders who wanted nothing less than excellence from our Marines or because we lost a loved one and now as a Gold Star Mother, want to see their friends succeed.
Toot your organization’s horn. What have you done that you’re most proud of to date?
Four Block is the official mentor program for all wounded Marines and sailors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Despite significant injuries and seemingly impossible limitations, these veterans are definitely proving they are more than capable!
What’s one piece of advice you would give to a non-profit start-up?
Focus on the mission first and foremost; on getting tangible, measurable results. The rest will take care of itself.
Who (or what) has had the most positive influence on your company and why?
Our veterans. They’re resilience has been inspirational and their feedback has significantly shaped our services.