BTN.com staff, February 12, 2013
BTN?s series BTN LiveBIG continues Saturday following the Michigan State vs. Nebraska men?s basketball game, with stories highlighting how the Spartan community is making an impact in East Lansing and around the world, including a program to support Michigan National Guard veterans returning home from combat. The program will air at 11 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Two projects that help assist Michigan National Guard veterans transition back into civilian life will be highlighted in the episode. With around 19,000 service members from the Michigan National Guard having served in Iraq and Afghanistan, many deal with the challenges of post-traumatic stress, depression and unemployment.
MSU professor Adrian Blow and his colleagues are studying more than 600 veterans and their families to help the military improve reintegration efforts. Blow will then lead an initiative designed to train licensed counselors in Michigan to work with the military, and connect veterans and their families with these providers through an online registry.
The episode will also include MSU?s participation in the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, a $5 million initiative that provides disadvantaged youth, particularly from Africa, access to high-quality education. MSU will help support 185 scholars throughout the nine-year program.
In addition, cameras followed Michigan State alum Jenn Gibbons on her journey last summer to raise awareness for breast cancer research through the Recovery on Water (ROW) program she founded. Also, former NBA star and MSU alum Mateen Cleaves takes viewers through his hometown of Flint, Mich., where he visits the local Boys & Girls Club and discusses giving back to the community.