DULLES, Virginia – (Nov. 05, 2020) – During a year of financial uncertainty and campus shutdowns, Freedom Alliance stood by the children of fallen and wounded military heroes by awarding $2.1 million in college scholarships to 550 students. Each is the son or daughter of a service member who lost life or limb defending our country in the Armed Forces.
Freedom Alliance is a charitable organization supporting our nation’s military families and wounded service members and has now provided more than $18 million in scholarships since 2001.
“This year has been challenging for many Americans and college students are no exception,” explained Freedom Alliance President Tom Kilgannon. “As the pandemic unfolded, college students experienced a great deal of anxiety. At first, they were kicked off campus and sent home with little warning or explanation. Many were uncertain if they would return to school, but we reassured them of Freedom Alliance support so they could continue their education,” Kilgannon said.
The 550 students who received scholarships in 2020 is a 10 percent increase over the previous year when 499 students were awarded scholarships from Freedom Alliance. In the 19 years since the United States was attacked on 9/11, Freedom Alliance has provided more than $18 million in scholarships to the children of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who have been killed or permanently disabled in a combat mission or training accident.
The top majors for Freedom Alliance scholars in 2020 are Science, Business, Psychology, and Engineering. Roughly 22 percent of our students are majoring in Science to include biology, chemistry, bioengineering, pre-medicine, and others. Each Freedom Alliance scholarship recipient is the child of a U.S. service member with 66 percent having a parent in the Army; 18 percent in the Marine Corps; 8 percent in the Navy; and 8 percent in the Air Force.
This year, Julia Morris served as Student Ambassador for Freedom Alliance’s scholarship program. Julia is a 2020 graduate of Virginia Tech, and the daughter of Captain James Morris who lost his life 20 years ago when his plane crashed in a training accident. Julia was two years old when she lost her father.
At Virginia Tech, she completed three majors: Sociology, Criminology, and Psychology and consistently earned her way onto the Dean’s List. Julia aspires to serve our country by working for the FBI or Secret Service. Her brother James is also on scholarship with Freedom Alliance and attends UCLA as a theater major.
“I’m grateful to have been given a Freedom Alliance Scholarship,” Julia explained, “because it helped me financially, but it has also connected me with a community of people who can relate to me and who have been through a similar experience. I feel like I have a whole new family and support system, not only in the other students I have met, but in the gracious people who work at Freedom Alliance. It also shows me that my father’s sacrifice will not be forgotten.”
An estimated 7,000 children have lost a parent in Operations Enduring Freedom or Iraqi Freedom. Freedom Alliance also helps injured troops with recreational rehab, retreats, mortgage-free homes, and all-terrain chairs. See more at www.FreedomAlliance.org or www.FAScholarship.com.
“As we approach Veterans Day, we must never forget those who serve our nation,” said Kilgannon. “Freedom Alliance scholarships help with the cost of a college education and serve as a reminder of an American who made an extraordinary sacrifice.”