Eagle Nation awards three military spouses scholarships
While military families make incredible sacrifices for their country, Georgia Southern University has developed a reputation for supporting these families while they pursue their academic dreams.
The Georgia Southern Military and Veterans Services Department will award Military Spouse Scholarships provided by the Landings Military Spouse Academic Assistance Funds in February. Three students who are married to service members will be awarded this scholarship to cover their spring 2023 term as well as funds to pay for textbooks and supplies. The scholarships will be awarded at military-friendly faculty training events on Feb. 2 in Statesboro and Feb. 9 in Savannah.
Megan Steed is originally from California. Through her husband’s work as a linguist for the Navy, they and their young son, Elijah, now live in Augusta, Georgia.
On top of being a military spouse and a mother, Steed is enrolled as an online interdisciplinary studies major with concentrations in public policy and criminal justice, along with a minor in public administration. Thanks to the strength of Georgia Southern’s online programs and the financial support from the scholarship, she is a member of Eagle Nation.
“It really helps us land on our feet,” said Steed. “We were expecting to have school debt when I graduate. But with this scholarship, I get to graduate with no school debt now.”
Steed added that this scholarship and eventual degree will put her and her family one step closer to moving back home to their native California.
A nomadic lifestyle can be typical for those serving in the armed forces. Some military families are moved across the country for their assignments; others are moved across the globe.
Guilia Bernardes was born and raised in Sao Paolo, Brazil, with a family that inspired her to do important work.
“Coming from Sao Paulo, it’s like New York,” she said. “You see buildings everywhere. I was always in love with all those buildings and bridges, everything was always under construction. I always found it fascinating how those things could go up and stay, and how to trust them.”
She enrolled in a Brazilian technical program as a teenager. When she was 19 years old, she moved to Germany to continue following her engineering passion. While in Europe, she met some Americans. One of them later became her husband.
Since then, she has been living in the United States with her Army husband. While he is stationed on Fort Stewart in Hinesville, Georgia, Bernardes is working on her bachelor’s in civil engineering.
Bernardes has been working toward her own education for her entire life, and has seen how other countries and other states support military members and their families. She said that while other American universities have military departments and support programs, Georgia Southern goes much further than any other.
Thanks to the more than $4,400 the scholarship awards her, she will soon be able to finally hold the diploma she’s been traveling the world to acquire.
“I dream about that moment while I’m doing my hard math classes,” she said. “This journey will have taken more than 10 years. I think it’s going to be amazing.”
Mary Kelly and her husband both grew up in Savannah, Georgia. Kelly grew up with a strong passion for animals and wanted to be a veterinarian. Over the past decade, she has been a professional dog trainer alongside being a mother. While her husband served in the National Guard, she put her college ambitions on hold to take care of their family.
Recently, she put her academic dreams back on the front burner and enrolled as an online student at Georgia Southern to pursue her Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in business, nonprofit management and Irish studies.
Kelly said this scholarship was the difference between continuing her dreams or putting her studies on hold yet again.
“I had my son during the summer, and I was actually attending summer courses during that time,” said Kelly. “So with having him and just the cost of raising a baby, I wasn’t sure if I was going to actually be able to attend school. I was really struggling with attending this spring semester, and now it’s just kind of relieved a lot of that stress.”
Current returning and enrolled military spouses of active duty service members may compete for a scholarship for tuition and fees to assist in completing their higher education journey with Georgia Southern University. The Landings Military Spouse Scholarship provides a total of $10,000 for fall and spring semesters. For more information, visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu/military.
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