FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Three Fort Rucker Family members recently received $5,000 for their education through the Our Family for Families First Foundation, established by Picerne Military Housing.

Rae Martin, Lisa James and Lindsey Townsend each earned educational grants toward their educational goals, according to Maria Montalvo, Our Family for Families First Foundation executive director.

Seventeen other active-duty military spouses from around the country received similar grants from the foundation.

"Working with grant recipients to complete their education has been a pleasure," said Montalvo. "It's such an honor to be a part of their educational development. We hope this grant can really make a difference."

John G. Picerne established Our Family for Families First Foundation in 2006. Since then, the organization has awarded more than $2.5 million in scholarships and grants, Montalvo said.

Martin, an Allen Heights resident and flight school spouse, is pursuing a teacher certification program through Western Governors University. She said her goal is to become an elementary school teacher after working as a literacy tutor for two years before moving here.

"(The scholarship) will be a big help because it will let me (earn) my certificate with very little or no debt. Not adding to my college debt will give me complete freedom to look for jobs as a teacher and not worry about the pay," Martin said.

James, a Munson Heights resident, is pursuing an online doctorate in philosophy in business from Capella University, with a dissertation on military spouses and employment. She is a specialist in the Army Reserves and currently works at the 1st Battalion, 11th Aviation Regiment as a personnel clerk.

"(School is) time consuming and it gets expensive. Because of the costs, a lot of people are deterred from seeking their Ph.D.," she said. "I was looking for different avenues to fund my education. It's a $5,000 grant and I am very grateful. I feel blessed to be in (school). You learn so many wonderful things. Being a military spouse, I look forward to trying to highlight the hiring system of government (spouse and veteran) employees."

Townsend is obtaining her master's degree in teaching at the University of Southern California. She most recently worked with the Child, Youth and School Services teen programs, fulfilling her love of working with youth.

"I'm elated. It gives me the opportunity to further my education, which may not have happened (without the grant). It opens up so many doors," she said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16