For Emily Holladay, pursuing an education has always been her goal. After graduating valedictorian of her high school, she went to college to begin her path towards becoming a health professional. Unfortunately for Emily, she learned very quickly that life doesn’t always go according to plan.
After undergoing a surgery during her sophomore year, she faced severe complications, forcing her to put school on hold. Doctors worked tirelessly to find the root of the problem, and upon its discovery, she received a gut-wrenching prognosis. Needing a second procedure to correct a surgical mistake, Emily and her family were told that she was not expected to survive. But against all odds, after years of fighting and undergoing five spinal surgeries, Emily has not only made a full recovery but completed her Bachelor’s degree.
Emily is no stranger to preserving through difficult times. As a military spouse, she has remained strong while facing deployments and daily uncertainties. After seeing her husband overcome injuries sustained while overseas and going through her own health battles, she found inspiration and decided to pursue a career where she could care for others going through similar struggles.
Hope For The Warriors is proud to support Emily on this journey by awarding her the Spring 2022 “Honorary Scholarship,” a scholarship presented to individuals seeking a graduate or post-graduate degree. Emily is attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham, working towards a Master of Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology.
“Pursuing higher education has always been a dream of mine,” says Emily. “When I found public health and epidemiology, I knew that I could impact my community and possibly the world. There are so many people who have unmet health needs, and I want to make health accessible to all.”
HOPE recognizes that military caregivers and spouses show strength through all the sacrifices they make. Whether it be playing a crucial role assisting an injured service member or keeping a home up and running during times of deployment, these individuals are the true definition of dedication. Just as they continuously show up for their loved ones, HOPE ensures that we will show up for them.
“Being a student and a caregiver limits my ability to work,” says Emily. “Receiving the Honorary Scholarship has made an incredible impact on my family and my scholastic goals. I also joined the Caregiver Resource Hub on Facebook, a place where I know that I can connect with people in similar situations at any time. The HOPE team has truly gone above and beyond to follow up and ensure that we are well and thriving.”
Since the program’s inception in 2006, HOPE has granted over 183 Military Spouse and Caregiver Scholarships, and we are excited to watch Emily follow her dreams! We know that upon completing her degree, she will make a big difference in her community.
“If you are a caregiver or military spouse and want to further your education, you need to apply to the program,” says Emily. “Achieving your academic goals can open doors for you and your family. Additionally, you are connected with a wonderful organization, a community, and numerous other resources that may be helpful to you and your spouse.”
For more information on the Military Spouse and Caregiver Scholarship Program, click here.