About Our Ambassador Program
Honoring Their Parent’s Sacrifice and Representing the 500 Students on Scholarship
Each year, one student is chosen from hundreds of scholarship recipients to serve a semester as the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Ambassador. These Scholarship Ambassadors help administer the Scholarship Fund, work with fellow recipients, and share their stories with community groups and supporters across the nation.
Gaining Real World Experience
Students who serve as Scholarship Ambassadors are given the opportunity to speak at events, where they will hone their public speaking skills, meet influential leaders in government, business and industry, and work with the Freedom Alliance team while traveling throughout the United States and abroad.
In addition, Scholarship Ambassadors gain professional workforce training and learn to work as a member of a team by experiencing the day to day business operations in the organization’s Virginia headquarters.
Helping others from a Similar Background
Our Scholarship Ambassadors serve as mentors for many of their fellow scholarship recipients who have also suffered the loss of a parent who died while serving. In addition, through Freedom Alliance-sponsored events and activities, Scholarship Ambassadors get the opportunity to personally meet and share their own stories with other scholarship recipients, building meaningful bonds with others who have faced similar struggles.
Through their ability to connect with others, Scholarship Ambassadors can build lasting, impactful bonds with other scholarship recipients to help foster a sense of community with other students who have lost a parent serving in the line of duty. These students’ statements demonstrate the impact that Freedom Alliance’s Scholarship Ambassadors have had on their lives:
Many of us have grown up without ever meeting kids who can relate to experiencing such a monumental loss. Being able to finally do that offers many of us closure, and we form powerful bonds that are entirely unique. I have never felt more welcomed and at home than I am with my friends made through Freedom Alliance.
–Charles Scott Zangas, Scholarship Recipient
It was an honor to meet others like myself, and get to know the people behind the magic, who have the most genuine, beautiful souls I have ever met. I am proud to be a part of the Freedom Alliance family forever, and look forward to future retreats!
–Asia Solomon, Scholarship Recipient
2020 Scholarship Ambassador
Freedom Alliance’s 2020 Scholarship Ambassador: Ms. Julia Morris
Julia resides nearby Freedom Alliance headquarters, in Virginia and graduated from Virginia Tech University with three different majors: Sociology, Criminology, and Psychology. During her time at Virginia Tech, Julia held multiple leadership positions in her sorority, as well as represented their organization at Virginia Tech’s homecoming court, in which she advocated for the aid and assistance for struggling military families and disabled veterans. Julia maintained her spot on the Dean’s list over her college career and is ecstatic to put her hard work to use. Like her father, Julia aspires to serve our country and hopes to work for the FBI as a special agent.
Julia’s brother, James, is also on scholarship with Freedom Alliance. He is attending UCLA where he is pursuing a theater major. [Learn More About Julia]
Past Scholarship Ambassadors
2019 Ambassador: Ms. Brandi Anderson
Brandi Anderson is a native Floridian and thanks to her scholarship, she was able to attend her dream school, Stetson University, and graduate with a major in Public Management. She currently works as an inspector for the Volusia County Mosquito Control program. Brandi’s father, Navy PO2C Michael Anderson was killed in 2004 in Ramadi, Iraq in a mortar attack that left four others dead and 35 wounded.
2018 Ambassador: Ms. Shelby Summers
Shelby moved to New York City to work in the retail fashion industry after receiving a degree in Business Management in 2019. Shelby’s father, Army SFC Severin W. Summers, was killed in action while on patrol in Qole Gerdsar, Afghanistan.
2017 Ambassador: Mr. Jacob Rangel
Jake graduated from Kutztown University with a degree in Communication Studies. He is currently working for a nonprofit organization as a grant administrator. Jacob’s father, Air Force SSgt Ray Rangel was a firefighter with the 7th Civil Engineer Squadron. He was killed in Balad, Iraq while trying to save two soldiers trapped in an overturned Humvee in a canal.
2015 Ambassador: Ms. Haley Hartwick
Haley graduated from Baylor University in 2017 with a degree in Social Work and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Dallas Baptist University. Haley’s father, Army CW3 Michael L. Hartwick was killed in action when his Apache Helicopter was shot down by enemy fire in Iraq.
2014 Ambassador: Ms. Shannon Zangas
Shannon’s scholarship allowed her to attend her dream school, Dickinson College, and graduate with a degree in Political Science. She went on to receive a masters degree in Education, and now teaches high school. Shannon’s father, USMC LtCol Robert J. Zangas, was killed in Iraq by men posing as Iraqi police who ambushed his vehicle.
2013 Ambassador: Ms. Kalie Walters
Kalie graduated in May 2013 from the University of West Florida with a degree in Psychology. She has dedicated her career to helping others in the military community. Her father, Air Force TSgt Howard Walters, was killed in action while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom. It was his dream that she go to college and make a better life for herself.
2012 Ambassador: Ms. Cheyenne Yost
Cheyenne earned her degrees in Communications and Occupational Therapy. She currently works as a certified Occupational Therapy Assistant in Los Angeles, California. Cheyenne’s father, Army MSG Anthony R. Yost, was killed in Mosul, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions.
2011 Ambassador: Ms. Maria James
Maria received her first Freedom Alliance scholarship in 2008 and graduated debt-free with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue University. She currently runs a political consulting firm with two partners in Indiana. Maria’s father, Army LTC Leon James, lost his life during combat operations in Baghdad, Iraq.