Freedom Alliance is proud to announce Abigail Chalfant as our 2022 Scholarship Ambassador.
Abbie was just shy of her third birthday when she lost her father, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Michael D. Chalfant, on September 10, 2002, when his S-3B Viking crashed off the coast of Puerto Rico. He was preparing to deploy to the Middle East in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
Despite this great loss early in life, Abbie worked hard and persevered. She excelled in academics, practiced ballet, and spent much of her free time working with disabled children and adults in education and recreation. She told us that her father’s legacy has been her inspiration and drive. “Everything I do, I do to make him proud,” she said.
We think her father would be very proud. This year Abbie graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida, completing a double major in Microbiology: Cell Sciences and Psychology. She credits Freedom Alliance with relieving the financial burden of her education and providing her with the emotional support needed to succeed in college.
Abbie finished her degree early and spent the last school term gaining experience working as a paraprofessional in classes of disabled teens. Her ambition is to complete a PhD in Clinical Psychology and become a child psychologist specializing in early intervention and treatment for autism.
Abbie is excited to serve as our Scholarship Ambassador this summer. She said, “Being the Freedom Alliance Ambassador will be an incredible way for me to honor my dad, while also honoring and remembering the parents of other Gold Star children.”
“We are delighted to have Abbie represent our organization,” said Freedom Alliance President, Tom Kilgannon, “As our Scholarship Ambassador, Abbie will travel the country to interact with Freedom Alliance supporters, talk with media, and speak to civic organizations. She will keep her father’s memory alive and help Americans understand the sacrifices made by military families and the grief that is still felt by her fellow Gold Star students.”
While she is not traveling the nation, Abbie will be working with us from her home in Tallahassee, Florida, with her fluffy work companion, a corgi named Stevie Ticks. We can’t wait to see her excel in this position and in her future endeavors.
In the more than 20 years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Freedom Alliance has awarded more than $20 million in college scholarships to over 2,000 individual students who have a parent that was killed or permanently disabled in the service of our country.
There are an estimated 7,000 youths who have lost a parent in Afghanistan or Iraq and the vast majority have not yet attended college. It is estimated that over the next ten years, 5,500 children of service members killed in action (KIA) – and thousands more who become permanently disabled – will be eligible for the scholarship. Freedom Alliance is now accepting scholarship applications for the upcoming academic year at www.FAScholarship.com.