Kayla Elliott and Aimee Kistner
Heidrea for Heroes, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing resources and support to military men and women facing challenges and hurdles after transitioning back to civilian life, announced today the recipients of its first Veteran Legacy Scholarships: Kayla Elliott of East Bridgewater, Aimee Kistner of Taunton, and Tyler Clardy of Hudson. This scholarship was created to help a veteran family in financial need who has a graduating high school senior, and to help families who have a graduating high school senior planning to enter into ROTC at a higher education institution.
Originally, the organization planned on awarding only one scholarship (to either a child of a military veteran orto a senior planning to enter ROTC), but after reading the entries, the reviewers felt that two awards should be given, one for each category.
Elliott, the daughter of a Navy veteran, was selected based on achievements both in and out of the classroom. She served in an active position on the National Honors Society Senate for East Bridgewater High School, and was also a member of the women’s soccer and basketball teams. In addition, Elliott volunteered by tutoring several students after school in math and history, as well as at the USS Salem for the last four years where she was named the Assistant Security Director for her dedication and hard work. Elliott will be attending Roger Williams University in the fall and will study criminal justice.
Kistner is the daughter of two Army veterans and was a National Honor Student and three-sport varsity athlete at Taunton High School, serving as captain for the women’s swim and softball teams. In addition, she interned at the Taunton District Attorney’s Office, and is planning to attend Western New England University to study criminal justice to pursue her dream of working for the FBI. She also plans to enroll in the ROTC program at the university.
Both Elliott and Kistner were selected from a pool of applicants. To be considered, the student must be the son or daughter of a veteran, or plan to enter into the ROTC at a higher education institution; must be a high school senior; must have maintained a 2.5 or better GPA throughout his/her final two years of high school; must plan to enroll full-time in a bachelor’s degree program at an accredited higher education institution, or an advanced vocational/technical school in the fall directly following high school graduation; and must live in Barnstable, Bristol, Norfolk, or Plymouth County.
Additionally, Heidrea for Heroes awarded a third scholarship to Tyler Clardy, son of Massachusetts State Trooper Thomas Clardy, who was killed in a tragic car accident earlier this year. The organization awarded the scholarship to Clardy, who is attending the University of Massachusetts – Amherst in the fall, in honor of his late father, who was a Marine.
“We are very proud to announce our first Veteran Legacy Scholarship recipients,” said Laura Buckley, Assistant Dean at Quincy College, Plymouth Campus, and member of the Heidrea for Heroes Board of Directors. “It’s heartening to see so many strong and accomplished students and children of the men and women who have done so much for our country, as we did in the pool of applicants. We are glad to show our gratitude to these families in this way, and look forward to learning about their future experiences and achievements.”
About Heidrea for Heroes, Inc.
Heidrea for Heroes was founded by Marine Corps veterans and small business owners/partners Jesse Brown and Mathew Mastroianni, who are also partners in a telecommunications firm. Both, as veterans, understand the issues of transition from military to civilian life – and they have formed this non-profit organization to provide vital support services to veterans. With offices in Plymouth’s Cordage Park, they seek volunteers and investors to help them realize their dream; they recently received a $40,000 donation from the New England Wireless Association and a $10,000 grant from the Dunkin’ Donuts Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation. Heidrea for Heroes provides adaptive home and vehicle modifications, wheelchair ramps, mobility equipment, and individualized veteran/family support that aim to inspire and motivate veterans and families to move forward through transitions. Heidrea for Heroes has an application process for veterans in need of assistance and welcomes Massachusetts veterans of any age to submit. Applications and more information about the organization can be found online at www.heidrea4heroes.org, or you can call 774-773-3951. Family/friends of veterans can also inquire or apply on their behalf. Heidrea for Heroes maintains offices at 10 Cordage Park Circle, Suite 224, Plymouth, MA 02360.