In WWE’s latest attempt to help past WWE Talent and even current members of their roster and staff, the company has introduced something called the WWE Professional Development Program. Basically, WWE will help financially aid talent with college or other educational ventures. WWE has already been helping former and current talent with drug issues that may have stemmed from their company.
WWE pays for full rehab visits and extended stays. They have helped massively with it over the years, spending literally millions on past talent. WWE wants to look good to the public, but this new Professional Development Program is not meant to come across as some sort of public relations stunt. Again, WWE has helped talent a lot over the years. Many, however, do not know how to transition from wrestling to something else. A lot end up back with wrestling and hurt themselves further after their WWE time is through.
Imagine if they could make their lives better by having education they simply could not have had without help? WWE likes taking in talent that have an education of some sort. Vince McMahon likes bringing in smart people. While a college degree does not necessarily mean intelligence, Vince feels that those with an ability to do more than what they do but choose to be with WWE will put in more work and be great stars for them, among other reasons.
WWE’s development program will include many educational tools to help talent, but the most crucial is the $5,000 per year “scholarship.” This is pretty much a semester for most colleges across the United States. Some private colleges, for example, are higher. A government Pell Grant is a bit over $5,000 per year for it’s highest amount. Some get lower amounts due to the fact that might make too much per year. WWE is offering the $5,000 regardless of how much a person makes. This, combined with a grant and small government loan, could help pay for someone’s education with only little to no debt when they leave school.
This is a huge help for people, and WWE is only being helpful to past talent by doing this. Here is the message sent out to formerly contracted talents:
“WWE is pleased to announce a Professional Development Program available to former WWE talent, and in some cases, their family members. The Professional Development Program aims to provide guidance and support beyond your tenure with WWE. The first two initiatives are: Financial Education and Continuing Education.
“Money Management International (MMI) is the largest non-profit credit counseling agency in the country and has partnered with WWE to provide financial education to WWE talent. Please see enclosed packet for more information. The use of MMI is free for you and your immediate family members. We encourage you to reach out to MMI for assistance.
“WWE is now offering financial scholarships to former WWE talent in the amount of $5,000 per calendar year to be used for obtaining a college degree or completing a certificate program. In order to receive this scholarship, a former WWE talent must apply for the three annual scholarships that are available. Please note–the deadline for the 2014 award is Friday, 8/1.
“To keep former WWE talent up to date with WWE news, we will be distributing via email an ‘Alumni Newsletter’ on a quarterly basis. The newsletter will include information on WWE news, archives, wellness, professional development and more.”
So basically WWE is willing to help in multiple ways, including helping family members of former talent. This a huge move for WWE, as it would most likely cost them a lot per year despite the partnership with MMI.
We will have to see if WWE continues the program after a while. However, due to the success WWE has had over the years, this move that only shows WWE in a good light should, in theory, come back to help them in the future.
[Image via Forbes]