You have dreams, there are opportunities

Gen. Stephen Wilson (left), Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and his wife (right) Nancy Wilson, celebrate with Lt. Col. Kevin Amsden, 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron commander, and his daughter, Breanna Amsden, during the Air Force Officers’ Spouses’ Club scholarship awards ceremony at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington D.C., May 21, 2017. Breanna was 1 of 19 recipients of the AFOSC scholarships. (Courtesy photo)

Gen. Stephen Wilson (left), Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and his wife (right) Nancy Wilson, celebrate with Lt. Col. Kevin Amsden, 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron commander, and his daughter, Breanna Amsden, during the Air Force Officers’ Spouses’ Club scholarship awards ceremony at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington D.C., May 21, 2017. Breanna was 1 of 19 recipients of the AFOSC scholarships. (Courtesy photo)

The Air Force Officers’ Spouses’ Club is a non-profit organization without government status, aiming to assist families of Air Force service members through the different stages in their lives. The scholarships they offer are available to all 17-year-old legal military dependent children or spouses of an active duty, reserve, guard, retired, MIA/POW, deceased officer or enlisted members of the Air Force. (Courtesy graphic)

The Air Force Officers’ Spouses’ Club is a non-profit organization without government status, aiming to assist families of Air Force service members through the different stages in their lives. The scholarships they offer are available to all 17-year-old legal military dependent children or spouses of an active duty, reserve, guard, retired, MIA/POW, deceased officer or enlisted members of the Air Force. (Courtesy graphic)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

From a very young age, many children are told to “stay in school,” because it’s a critical factor for our future success; however, for college, it is easier said than done.

“I worked multiple jobs throughout my college career, and it definitely had an impact on my ability to focus on academics,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Amsden, 3rd Space Experimentation Squadron commander.

Amsden did not want his daughter, Breanna, to struggle as he struggled. Instead, he wanted her to have assistance in achieving her aspirations, searching with her for opportunities to pursue her dreams.

“As parents, we sat down with Breanna to identify any and all scholarships she would be eligible for, and then made a plan for meeting the various deadlines,” Amsden said. “It took a lot of work to get everything done and delivered, but it was definitely worth it.”

The fruit of the Amsden family’s labors was a bundle of four scholarships to help Breanna on her way to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She was fortunate to be 1 of 19 recipients of the Air Force Officers’ Spouses’ Club of Washington D.C. High School Class of 2017 Scholarship.

“One of (my mother’s) students was awarded this scholarship in the past and she recommended I take a look at it for myself,” Breanna said. “In a world where so many students my age would be applying for so many of the same scholarships, I thought this was a fantastic opportunity to set myself apart and apply for financial aid using traits unique to me- being a military kid and serving my country in my own special way.”

Breanna was happy to say, out of more than 60 applicants of various ages and backgrounds, she was the only dependent in Colorado or Air Force Space Command to receive the $2,500 in scholarship money, to be spent solely on 2017-2018 academic undergraduate studies.

“We have some amazing applicants,” said Mina Baldinger, AFOSC scholarship chairwoman. “A lot of our winners are typically A-students, taking the hardest courses offered, scoring well on SAT/ACT tests, volunteering a lot of hours in their community and receiving awards for academics, sports or leadership. They are also scored on an essay question.”

The AFOSC not only provides high school students’ scholarship opportunities, but also supports the needs of other dependents, such as undergraduate students and spouses, to ease the financial stresses that come with pursuing higher education.

“It’s easy for graduating high-schoolers to be thinking about scholarships, but the AFOSC scholarship is unique since it is also open to spouses of active-duty military members,” Amsden said. “I hope that word can get out this opportunity exists for them.”

The AFOSC scholarship chairs take applications for their scholarships annually, and typically have a final decision sent to the recipients in May. Eligible dependents are urged to apply because the AFOSC scholarship chairs are sometimes allotted as high as 120 scholarships in one year.

“I implore all college-bound students to apply for every scholarship possible,” Breanna said. “Three hours worth of work to get a scholarship together can earn $3,000 that would have taken (many more) days to earn normally. Apply, apply, apply. There is no better way, and take heart. Have faith in your abilities as a student and your capacity as a person. Show the world what you are really made of.”

To find out more about AFOSC scholarships, visit https://www.afoscdc.com/scholarships.html.