Karisa Myers is a trailblazer.
She was one of the first women to train and serve as a field artilleryman for the U.S. Army, and that experience was only a chapter in her 23-year military career.
“Even at a very young age, I felt the desire to serve something greater than myself,” said Myers, now a major in the Ohio National Guard and primary advisor to its adjutant general and leadership team.
She also serves as the organization’s Joint Force Headquarters Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program manager. And if that isn’t enough, she’s Mom to an 11-year-old daughter she proudly calls an “Army kid.”
Myers is one of two recipients of the 2020 Raytheon Missiles & Defense Patriot Scholarship, named for the company’s Patriot air and missile defense system. Myers used the system while leading her Army platoon, and her fellow recipient, Arturo Garcia, was a Patriot launching station operator.
“I want to show women you can serve, you can get your education, and you can be a mom, and the military will support you,” said Myers, who is in Ohio State University’s executive MBA program. “You can do it.”
Raytheon Missiles & Defense partners with the Student Veterans of America each year to award two $10,000 scholarships to Army student veterans pursuing a graduate or undergraduate degree. Applicants must demonstrate leadership and commitment to their communities.
“We want to help position Army student veterans for future success by providing accessible educational opportunities that lead to meaningful careers and lifelong learning,” said Tom Laliberty, vice president of Land Warfare & Air Defense at Raytheon Missiles & Defense.
Recipients can use the funds for books, computer supplies, tuition and fees, housing or childcare.
Aiming for leadership
Arturo Garcia is a leader in his own right. He served as a Patriot operator in the Army and deployed with the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Garcia now aspires to lead a supply chain organization, and the Patriot scholarship will help him reach this goal.
“The recognition of my military and academic achievements through this scholarship is truly a humbling and proud moment,” said Garcia, a Student Veterans of America chapter officer and vice president of the Veterans Alumni Association at California State University, Northridge, where he is studying for an MBA.
Raytheon Technologies and Student Veterans of America joined forces in 2012 to help provide financial stability for veterans pursuing a higher education while working and raising families.
Through a network of more than 1,500 on-campus chapters, Student Veterans of America empowers student veterans and military-connected students to reach their greatest potential.