Scholarship program helps combat military spouse unemployment rate, which is six times higher than the national average
EAST GREENWICH, R.I.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Corvias Foundation, a private foundation founded by Corvias CEO John Picerne to support education opportunities for military families, today announced it has awarded its annual military spouse scholarship to 20 recipients. The 2020 scholars, each the spouse of an active-duty service member stationed at a Corvias installation, will receive a one-time scholarship of $5,000 to help them earn their higher education degrees.
“The life of a military spouse is one that revolves around deployments and frequent moves,” said Maria Montalvo, executive director of Corvias Foundation. “This unique mobile lifestyle presents economic challenges for military spouses due to high unemployment rates and significant wage gaps. Corvias Foundation created this scholarship program to combat these hurdles and help these inspiring spouses receive their degrees to help provide for their families.”
Scholarship recipient Angelica Valdez, the wife of an active-duty soldier stationed at Fort Bragg, further expanded on the unique lifestyle and incredible resiliency of military spouses.
“Military spouses are some of the most resilient people I have ever met,” said Valdez. “They have a unique ability to adapt and make the best of the circumstances they are given due to the social and economic demands that the military places on families. Spousal absence due to military trainings and deployments, and uprooting their family and home to a new duty station can come with many frustrations and challenges. However, military spouses find ways to master these obstacles, and more, to create an easy transition for their family. Their flexibility to adapt and flourish is remarkable and a true example of resilience.”
2020 marks the 14th consecutive year of this scholarship program and of Corvias Foundation’s commitment to supporting and empowering military spouses throughout their academic journeys. The allotted funds can be used by the spouses for any expenses associated with receiving their degree, such as transportation to class, childcare, and school fees. This year’s recipients are pursuing a wide variety of professions, including nursing, criminal justice, physical therapy, teaching and more.
“My greatest passion is working with the special needs community and ensuring that I can be a key resource for them in a positive way,” said McConnell Air Force Base recipient, Brittni Haskett, who is pursuing a master’s degree in Youth, Families, and Community Sciences. “I am excited to continue my education in a field I am passionate about and gain knowledge/resources that will further me in my career.”
Since 2006, Corvias Foundation has awarded nearly $14 million to military children, spouses, and children of Corvias employees across 13 Army and Air Force installations.
2020 Scholarship Recipients:
Eglin Air Force Base, Florida
Jacquelyn Brown is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Central Florida with hopes to become a behavioral finance researcher. She is passionate about behavioral finance and is eager to utilize this degree to help others learn how to become financially independent.
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Angelica Valdez is attending Oregon State University for a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. She hopes to use her degree to pursue a career in cloud computing engineering to provide better systems and computer programming to the social services industry.
Carissa Caban is dedicated to becoming a physical therapist and is pursuing her doctorate degree at Methodist University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Health Science at Eastern Connecticut State University, followed by her master’s degree in Mental Health at Grand Canyon University, and is thrilled to complete her final degree to achieve her career objective.
Fiona Winoto is studying for her doctorate in Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and aspires to help people with autism. She is proud to be a part of the military community and is grateful for a spouse who is very supportive of her pursuing her dreams.
Kelly Ocampo is attending the American Public University System to pursue her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Her goal is to be a probation officer and would like to help incarcerated youth. She strives to teach her children by example and wants them to know that education is a societal benefit.
Isabelle Stevens is in her last year of law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduation, she plans to serve in Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG Corps). In addition to her studies, Isabelle is the president of the Veteran’s Advocacy Legal Organization and also works with the Military and Veterans Law Clinic.
Victoria Oh is nearing the end of her master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University. Inspired by her recent volunteer experiences with human-trafficked survivors, Victoria hopes to use her graduate degree to promote social justice and advocate for greater mental health assistance within marginalized communities.
Fort Meade, Maryland
Cari Saumenig is passionate about becoming a social worker and hopes to get into the field after completing her master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Denver. She has a passion for volunteering in her community and currently helps the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland as the service unit manager and cookie manager.
Fort Polk, Louisiana
Amanda Phillips is working toward her associate’s degree in Nursing at Northwestern University. She has a passion for helping others and is looking forward to joining the profession. Amanda is enthusiastic about education and raising her daughters to become valuable and charitable members of society.
Amelia Dvorsak is studying Dietetics at the University of Alaska in Anchorage. She hopes to work with individuals with eating disorders and provide them with education and cooking classes so food can spark passion and joy.
Christina Raiden is realizing her dream of becoming a nurse and is studying at Northwestern State University. Her husband, children, and her past experiences are her biggest motivators for continuing her education and she is incredibly thankful for all their support.
Nicole Hart is attending Southern New Hampshire University to finish her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. She is drawn to safeguarding nature and looks forward to using her degree to help protect and improve the environment.
Fort Riley, Kansas
Maribel Paulino Marinez is pursuing her associate’s degree in Paramedics at Barton County Community College in order to give back and help others. Originally from the Dominican Republic, Maribel graduated from the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing, and later earned her EMT certification in 2018.
Shauna-Leigh Morales is attending Hutchinson Community College (HCC) to receive her associate’s degree in Nursing. Her drive to pursue higher education centers around her desire to give her children the best life possible and she greatly looks forward to becoming a registered nurse.
Tyeisha Robinson-Smith, a military spouse and cancer survivor, is dedicated to completing her master’s degree in Social Work at the University of South Florida. She currently works in the hospital on the military installation where she serves current soldiers, dependents, veterans and their family members as a medical support assistant.
Fort Sill, Oklahoma
Ashly Olusanya is pursuing her master’s degree in Math at the University of Texas and is dedicated to becoming a math professor. To address the gap in education endured by at-risk students, Olusanya hopes to be a community college professor.
McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas
Brittni Haskett is attending North Carolina State University to receive her master’s degree in Youth, Families, and Community Sciences. She wants to work with special needs adults and families and to give a voice to adults who cannot advocate for themselves.
Johanna Tsubaki is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Southwestern College. She is a certified occupational therapy assistant specializing in pediatrics and has been working with children with exceptional needs for three years. Johanna is excited to return to school to continue her education so that she may better serve her patients.
Tierra Monroe has a passion to help people who were formerly incarcerated. She is studying at the University of South Florida to receive her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Tierra is very excited to be able to pursue her educational goals after a 10-year hiatus from school.
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina
Samantha Moya is working toward a bachelor’s degree in Care, Health and Society at the University of Arizona. She is looking forward to building her career and hopes to give back and serve as a leader in her community.
About Corvias Foundation
Corvias Foundation is committed to inspiring students, college and university campuses, and military families to reach higher. Founded in 2006 as “Our Family for Families First Foundation,” our work increases access to educational, internship, mentoring, and volunteer opportunities so that those we touch are empowered to pursue their dreams and to make a greater impact in service to their communities and their nation. We strive to create ever-increasing opportunities by providing the resources and networks needed to help our scholars and partners surpass their goals. We achieve this through a commitment to education, community engagement and high-impact charitable giving. To learn more, please visit: corviasfoundation.org.
Christina Chase, Corvias