We wish the best for all of our past military college scholarship winners. We know you'll achieve great things, and we are honored to have helped you on your way.
Caitlin's father has served in the Navy her whole life. Though she has lived all over the world, Caitlin is currently attending Virginia Tech where she is a Geoscience major. After she graduates, she hopes to pursue a Masters in Education so she can teach earth/biological science at the middle or high school level.
Though Caitlin isn't planning on pursuing her own military career, she believes the public should serve those who serve our country. Personally, she volunteers with the organization Dogs on Deployment fostering the pets of deployed servicemembers. It's her way of forwarding kindness and giving back to those who have dedicated their lives to defending freedom.
Growing up as the child of a servicemember, Caitlin learned firsthand the sacrifices that are asked of both those who serve and their families. However, it taught her that home can always be found inside herself. This realization has led her to be a strong, independent woman who depends on her heart to carry her through life.
After serving 7 years active duty in the Army, including a deployment in Afghanistan, Jessica currently lives in New York with her husband and two young sons. Though she is no longer an active duty soldier, Jessica continues to serve in the Army Reserves while she pursues her bachelor's degree at Russell Sage University.
After she graduates, Jessica plans to pass her National Council Licensure Exam on the first try in order to become a registered nurse and work in a neonatal intensive care unit. Eventually she also plans on getting her Master of Science in Nursing and becoming a neonatal nurse practitioner.
Jessica is grateful for everything the Army taught her, including perseverance, confidence, and passion for service. These are qualities she uses everyday as a mother and in pursuit of her degree. Because of her time in the military, she knows how to adapt to any environment and overcome any obstacle, no matter how difficult.
Alex is an honorably discharged officer who served in the Army. He is currently pursuing two post-graduate degrees, including his Juris Doctorate and an MBA at Loyola University.
Alex says his time in the military is what shaped him. Not only did it help him mature, but it also gave him the opportunity to become the first member of his family to earn a college degree. Growing up, Alex believed he wasn't good enough to pursue education, but joining the military allowed him to realize he can achieve anything he sets his mind to, a mentality that has affected and changed his whole family.
With his degrees, Alex plans to pursue a career in compliance. He wants to work for the VA, which would allow him to give back to an organization he feels has changed his life forever. It would also provide him the opportunity to continue serving his brothers and sisters in the Armed Forces.
Katie is an officer in the United States Coast Guard currently pursuing her master's degree in Public Administration with an emphasis on Emergency Management. Prior to her time in the Coast Guard, she was also an enlisted member of the Army who worked her way through the ranks to become an officer.
Katie credits her military service with helping her overcome poverty and a difficult childhood that included a stint in a juvenile detention center and abuse, as well as other hardships. Through her service, she has learned how to be a leader and has realized that her future isn't defined by her past.
With the money from this scholarship, Katie plans to finish her master's degree and put it to good use as a Coast Guard officer responding to, preventing, and recovering from both natural and man-made disasters. After she earns her retirement, she plans to continue using her degree in either a state or local Emergency Management Department.
Lorenzo Arada is a captain in the Nevada Army National Guard who has served our country since 2008. He hopes to continue serving in the military by becoming a full-time psychologist in the Navy. He would also love to be able to affect the future of military policy regarding mental health. In his own words, he seeks to "attack the PTSD and suicide issues our military members are facing." He plans to use the scholarship to help him reach these goals.
Lorenzo believes that his time in the military allows him to experience the same environments that servicemembers with PTSD face. All around him, he has seen the need for intervention in psychological issues. It is unacceptable to him that each day, dozens of current and former troops take their own lives. Through his efforts, he believes he can help alleviate these problems and dramatically reduce that number.
Arsenio is a student at San Diego State University.
Rafael Vega is a member of the Florida National Guard who is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Central Florida. He is fueled by the hunger to succeed in his career and plans on becoming an officer in the National Guard.
The military has always been something that Rafael was interested in. He believes that hard work truly pays off, and his decision to join the military has been proof of that. Through dedication and persistence, he was able to complete his basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia, during the summer of 2013. This is one of the achievements he is most proud of.
Rafael also strives to become a role model to the youth in his community. He grew up in Naples, Florida, and wants to show that if you work hard to obtain the position you want in life, opportunities will present themselves.
Aboudayle is a student at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Ninette is a student at Aurora University.