A&FRC scholarship helps Creech spouse achieve goals

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Tessa, key spouse for the 42nd Attack Squadron, poses for a photo at Betsy A. Rhodes Elementary School, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Aug. 15, 2019. Tessa is a full time teacher and mother of two. (U.S. Air Force photo by: Airman 1st Class William Rio Rosado)

A U.S. military spouse works every day in service to their nation, and the people around them.

Some spouses serve until they have nothing left for themselves. Tessa, mother of two, full-time teacher, and 42nd Attack Squadron Key Spouse, is no exception.

“She supports our Airmen as they go about carrying out their 24/7 mission in so many ways,” said Lt. Col. Landon, 42nd ATKS commander. “Whether that be through advice, preparing meals or fundraising. She’s a key factor in putting all those things together in support of the men and women in our squadron.”

Tessa takes her children to-and-from school, teaches, grades, goes home, then the cycle restarts, and she has to do it all again the next day. With her husband being on shift work, and her busy schedule filling her days, the only way Tessa thought she’d be able to pursue her education was online.

“A lot of the time with the commute to Creech, shift work and temporary duties, my husband’s absence is felt in the home and as a spouse it seems there is no time for pursuing an education,” Tessa said.

With reservations, she applied for a scholarship in January through the Creech Airman & Family Readiness Center; expecting any of the pay-outs to only cover a fraction of her tuition.
“As a military spouse, most scholarships that are available can only cover so much of your schooling,” Tessa said.

Tessa expressed that she had been exploring loans as a solution to achieving her master’s degree, but soon began questioning if it was the right time to finish her schooling.

“It’s been kind of a rough year,” she said. “My dad got diagnosed with cancer in April and he passed in May. After that, I just wanted to stop and I didn’t want to finish my program.”

However, in July, the National Military Family Association accepted her application and treated her family to a one-night stay at Caesar’s Palace.

For their scholarship, one sponsor was going to give one applicant $10,000 for their education. However, once they found out Tessa’s full tuition for her master’s degree was $14,000, they decided to cover the remaining balance, Tessa explained.

“It made me feel like someone advocated for military spouses,” Tessa said. “Knowing that someone cares and having that extra support was everything. It was really special to me and I’m still blown away that they gave it to me.”

With the NMFA’s help, Tessa has started her journey towards her Master’s in Education. So far, Tessa has completed nine credit hours online.

“I just wish spouses would take the time to apply for the opportunities that are available to them,” Tessa said. “It’s important to stay connected so you don’t miss these types of opportunities. These organizations that really help and support spouses motivate me to do more towards supporting my spouse and other families as well.”

The NMFA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting military families. With many different organizations offering scholarships, military spouses are encouraged to stay connected and keep their eyes peeled for the opportunities that are provided specifically for them. The A&FRC can be contacted at 702-404-0864.