August 21, 2019

Corvias Foundation, a private charitable foundation dedicated to increasing opportunities for military families, today announced the 2019 recipients of its annual military spouse scholarship. The 20 recipients, each the spouse of an active-duty service member, will receive a one-time scholarship of $5,000 to be put towards furthering their academic aspirations.

“Each year we are completely inspired by our scholarship recipients and their incredible determination to achieve their academic goals,” said John G. Picerne, Founder of Corvias Foundation. “As military spouses, they endure deployments, frequent moves and hectic schedules that have the tendency to make finishing a degree particularly challenging. Corvias Foundation established this scholarship program 13 years ago in an effort to combat those hurdles, and we are delighted to continue our support with our newest class of recipients.”

Scholarship recipient Ramsey Deheck, the wife of an active duty-service member stationed at Fort Riley, further expanded upon military spouses’ commitment to adapt and succeed despite the challenges they face as partners to service members.

“Some of the strongest people I know are military spouses,” she said. “This life throws us curve balls every now and then in the form of training, deployment, or moves on a two-month notice, but we continue to stand by our soldiers with a smile on our face and ‘Plan A’ through ‘Plan Z’ in our pockets. We are a resilient crowd that will show up to each duty station ready to reinvent ourselves, as long as we are given the opportunity to do so.”

Since its founding in 2006, Corvias Foundation has been committed to empowering military dependents and helping them receive an education that will enable them to grow professionally and support their families.

“Military spouses often live a very mobile lifestyle and face unique economic challenges, including a 16% unemployment rate and significant wage gaps,” said Maria Montalvo, Executive Director of Corvias Foundation. “Through this scholarship, we strive to provide deserving military spouses with support that will enable them to continue their academic journey so they can enjoy a fulfilling career.”

The majority of military spouses are attending classes full-time while simultaneously balancing the duties of being married to a member of the military. The provided funds can be used for a variety of things, including childcare, gas for transportation to class, a laptop, or anything else that may help them finish their education.

“Since getting married to the military and having children, my family has been the driving force pushing me to reorient my life,” said Eglin Air Force Base recipient, Aaron Eichstedt. “Becoming a registered nurse will keep me home with my family and give me more flexibility to move with my wife’s career.”

Since 2006, Corvias Foundation has awarded more than 430 scholarships, or nearly $9 million, to military children, spouses, and children of Corvias employees across 13 Army and Air Force installations. This year’s military spouse recipients hope to pursue a wide assortment of professional fields, ranging from social work, healthcare, and education, to name a few.

2019 Scholarship Recipients:

Edwards Air Force Base, California

Helena Dautrive is pursuing a master’s degree in Public Administration from Grand Canyon University. Her husband is in the enlisted ranks as a Staff Sergeant (E-5). She was medically discharged from service in 2012 and used her GI benefits for her undergraduate degree. She wants to complete her Master’s in Public Administration in order to give back to the military and surrounding communities outside of Edwards AFB.

Eglin Air Force Base, Florida

LaToya Adams is a dedicated and high-performing senior at Ashford University where she is studying Early Childhood Education-Administration and Business Accounting. Her husband is in the enlisted ranks as a Staff Sergeant (E-5) and together they have two young children. LaToya currently works as an Educational Lead at the Eglin Child Development Center and is anxious to complete her undergraduate degree to become a training and curriculum specialist with the military child development center.

Aaron Eichstedt is pursuing an associate’s degree in Nursing from Northwestern Florida State College. Previously he worked as a fisheries field biologist but was inspired by his family to pursue his studies to become an RN in order to spend more time at home with his wife, who is in the enlisted ranks as a Senior Airman (E-4), and their two boys.

Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Gabrielle Billow is attending Grand Valley State University and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and plans to obtain her Master’s in Social Work. She has a successful role in the insurance industry and works with senior citizens but feels strongly that she can better serve the community through social work. Gabrielle would like to support those who suffer from Alzheimer's, as well as their caretakers, friends and family members. Her husband is an Enlisted Specialist in the Army.

Kathleen Leszcynski is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Oregon State University. Her husband is an Officer (MAJ-O-4) in the Army, and she is attempting to fast-track her degree so she can work in her field sooner. She also hopes to serve the military community and create a well-balanced approach to care for soldiers, veterans and their families.

Nathalia Lima, whose husband is an Enlisted Specialist (E-4) in the Army, is pursuing an associate’s degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography from Central Carolina Community College and is eager to use her degree to find a job that will help her support her family. She loves learning, as it makes her feel alive and connected to her community.

Fort Meade, Maryland

Daisy Santana is pursuing a master’s in Social Work (Bilingual Psychotherapy) from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She has very clear goals for working with children in impoverished communities and aspires to become a LCSW-C in order to provide psychotherapeutic services. Her husband is an E-6 Staff Sergeant in the Marines and will be using his GI Bill when he separates from service next year.

Fort Polk, Louisiana

Jennafer Wood, a member of the Army Reserves, is pursuing a master’s degree in Environmental Science from the Colorado State University Global Campus. She has a passion for environmental studies and would like to complete a higher degree so that she can pursue work at Fort Polk in NEPA compliance and further ensure that military operations and projects are completed in a manner that supports and benefits the surrounding environment. Her husband is an Enlisted Staff Sergeant (E-6) in the Army.

Fort Riley, Kansas

Ramsey Deheck is a first-generation student, a dedicated military spouse, and is completing her final year of a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Kansas State University. She is committed to her education and is eager to finish her degree. Ramsey is married to her high school sweetheart, who is an Officer (O-2, 1LT) in the Army.

Elizabeth Kerns, whose husband is an Enlisted Specialist (E-4) in the Army, is currently working toward her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Kansas School of Nursing. She is excited to pursue her dream of becoming a healthcare professional.

Jennifer Re is studying to receive a bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Washburn University in Topeka and hopes to work with Children at St. Jude’s as a nurse. She earned her GED after becoming a military wife and is half-way to receiving her bachelor’s. Jennifer is married to her husband who is an E-6 Enlisted Staff Sergeant, and together they have two daughters.

Fort Rucker, Alabama

Kristen Cotton, whose husband is a Warrant Officer (W0-1), is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science/Information Technology at Western Governor’s University. She is pursuing IT because she knows it will fit with her mobile military spouse lifestyle and is excited for the challenges and professional growth the field has to offer.

Megan Green will enter the new school year as a senior to finisher her bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Troy University. She is committed to finishing her degree to achieve her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse while simultaneously caring for three children at home. She is grateful for their lives as a military family, and her husband (Enlisted E-8) will be retiring soon.

Chynna Krustchinsky is attending Lamar University to pursue a Doctorate in Audiology so that she can work in a clinical setting with military and veteran patients directly. She has been working to put herself through college and is incredibly grateful for this scholarship opportunity. Her husband is a Warrant Officer (WO-1).

LeeAnn Mertens will attend the University of Nebraska at Lincoln this Fall as a senior to earn her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She is looking forward to finishing her last year of the program after taking a year and a half off to be with her husband, a Warrant Officer (WO-1), as he pursued his goal of graduating from flight school in Fort Rucker, Alabama.

Fort Sill, Oklahoma

Kelsey Anhalt-Zacherl, whose husband is an Officer (O-1 2LT), is pursuing a master’s degree in Counseling at the University of Florida. She currently works as a middle school counselor and hopes to teach and work with students to prevent sexual assault. She has volunteered in her community while attending school full-time.

McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas

Emily Keiser is pursuing an associate’s degree in Accounting from Southern New Hampshire University. She and her husband, a Technical Sergeant (E-6) in the Air Force, have lived in three states over the past 10 years. Emily has been working for her father as she completes her education and knows her accounting degree will be a good option for their military lifestyle that revolves around constant moves.

Kelsey Smithson, who is married to an Officer in the Air Force (O-1 2LT), is pursuing a master’s degree in Education from the Colorado State University Global Campus (online). She is getting her degree in Teaching and Learning so that she can be the best version of herself to educate her and her husband’s children and the next generation of learners.

Ashley Thoreen is studying to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Emporia State University. Her goal is to start teaching by 2020 and then pursue a master’s Her husband is Enlisted (E-4) in the Air Force.

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina

Kelly Herzog is studying at Wayne Community College to obtain an associate’s degree. She has a passion for making things and thinking through various kinds of challenges, and is excited to be able to pursue her education. Her husband is Enlisted (E-3) in the Air Force.

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:


Maria Montalvo, Corvias Foundation