ORLANDO, Fla. — A Navy veteran and University of Central Florida senior is helping his fellow veterans get access to school supplies.

What You Need To Know

  • Navy veteran launches school supply vault at UCF

  • Access to vault is free to student veterans

  • About 1,400 UCF students are veterans

  • Discover more Everyday Heroes here

Michael Richardson helped launch UCF’s Supply Vault for Veteran Success in November. The vault contains school supplies, including noise-canceling headphones and keyboards. The supplies are free to student veterans.

“It is essential for assimilation from service to scholar,” Richardson said. “These are tools that the veteran student may not even know exists and may not even have the budget to spend freely.”

Richardson said he picked out every item in the vault based on his own needs. He has been visiting the Veterans Academic Resource Center to help get the word out about this free service.

So far, a handful of student veterans have used the vault, including Yamil Casarreal, who served in the Marine Corps for five years. “I’m out here by myself, with my wife, too. We gotta pay for rent too, all that stuff. Having those costs eased off of us for something like school supplies can help.”

About 1,400 UCF students are veterans. Richardson wants to let them know about the vault and hear their personal stories. He is helping with the university’s oral history project on veterans in the community.

“As a military veteran, legacy is important because we will pass on the torch to the future generations,” he explained.