October 4, 2019

Corvias Foundation today announced its inaugural Military-Affiliated Student Leadership Fellowship, a $25,000 annual fund that will benefit military-affiliated University of Kansas (KU) students.

“At Corvias Foundation, we see the immense resiliency and leadership qualities that reside in military-connected individuals who have endured challenges such as frequent moves, deployments, and other similar obstacles. The Military-Affiliated Student Leadership Fellowship is a pioneer program that recognizes those incredible attributes and cultivates them in an effort to help others,” said Maria Montalvo, executive director of Corvias Foundation, a private charity founded in 2006 by John G. Picerne and dedicated to increasing opportunities for military families.

The Fellowships will be administered in partnership with the KU Lt. Gen. William K. Jones Military-Affiliated Student Center (MASC) for the next four years and will be awarded to a minimum of 5 students, and up to 10, depending on the needs assessment and subsequent awards. Each Fellow will receive a one-to-two-year scholarship and a stipend as they pursue worthy leadership experiences and dedicate time to serving the campus community. They will also, as a cohort and individually, receive continued mentoring to further develop and enhance their leadership knowledge and skills.

“Military-affiliated scholars often experience a unique lifestyle that has the tendency to be overlooked and misunderstood,” said April Blackmon-Strange, director at Lt. Gen. William K. Jones Military-Affiliated Student Center. “Through the generosity of Corvias Foundation, we have established a flexible program that will accommodate the wide variety of backgrounds and interests that our military-dependents and spouses possess and will further harness their potential to assist the greater military-affiliated community.”

One KU student, Grace Schilling, was instrumental in the creation of the exemplary program. As a 2017 Corvias Foundation scholarship recipient, Schilling informed Montalvo of the resources provided by the institution’s Military-Affiliated Student Center and later introduced her to the center’s director.

“As the daughter of a service member, I find that it is crucial for higher education institutions to offer support and resources for military-connected students,” said Schilling. “After arriving at KU and visiting the school’s MASC, I was inspired to inform Corvias Foundation of the great work and services being offered by April and the center. It is amazing to see how that introduction has led to the creation of a great partnership and fellowship program that is accessible to the school’s military-connected community. It makes me incredibly proud to be both a Corvias Foundation scholar and KU student.”

Current and former service members, spouses and dependents are eligible to apply. Fellows will work with MASC staff to develop leadership plans that will serve to support the military-affiliated community, complete a minimum of 100 hours of service, and assume a leadership role in a KU organization. At the end of the fellowship, participants will provide a reflection that details their work and the positive outcomes it produced.

Students interested in completing an application can visit to learn more. The application process for the fellowship is set to close at 11:59 PM on Monday, October 21.

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