The American Legion Auxiliary sponsors the Children of Warriors National Presidents’ Scholarship to support the children of our warriors. These scholarships are awarded to 15 students annually who excel in academics and volunteer in their communities.
Eligible to apply for this scholarship through her father, a U.S. Air Force officer, Anne Mountcastle grew up in a military family. She moved every two years, lived overseas, and experienced quite a lot as a military kid.
We understand you recently returned from overseas.
When I was starting eighth grade, my dad announced the next assignment was Taiwan. I spent the first two years of high school in a country I had to Google!
After sophomore year, I expected to go home and graduate in America with a somewhat typical American high school experience. Then came the big decision: Either my dad goes on a year deployment, or the family moves to South Korea. So, I ended up graduating from Osan Middle High School at Osan Air Force base in South Korea.
How did you find out about the ALA Children of Warriors National Presidents’ Scholarship?
At the start of senior year, Wednesday and Friday nights were scholarship nights in the Mountcastle household. My dad and I sat down at the kitchen counter and reviewed our scholarship spreadsheet, and he coached me to set goals and meet deadlines. My dad found the Children of Warriors National Presidents’ Scholarship through searching on the internet.
What was cool about this was it was a great bonding experience for my dad and me.
How did you feel when you learned you were a winning recipient?
I was elated and extremely honored. These scholarships recognize the commitment and sacrifice it takes to be a military kid above all else. When you travel around the world, you lose a foothold in a hometown that has local resources for kids leaving high school. I was so grateful that the Children of Warriors National Presidents’ Scholarship was made available to me even though I was far away.
What college are you attending, and what are you studying?
I attend the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. I am a nursing major pursuing my bachelor of science degree.
What piqued your interest in this career?
I always knew I wanted to lead a life of service. I was inspired by my dad and mom serving our country and our family. It wasn’t until my junior year that I decided on nursing. My family went back to America to visit for the summer, and I went with my grandma to one of her chemotherapy appointments. During the visit, the nurses were incredible. I was met with their smiles and excitement. They had an incredible wealth of knowledge and happily explained everything to me. That was when I decided I wanted to be a nurse.
Any advice to other students who may want to apply for this scholarship?
Do the work. Your hard work in school and your affiliation in the military is something people want to invest in. Take the time to apply for scholarships. I applied to a lot. I was rejected by some. I won this one. I lost right from the start on every application I did not submit.
What would you say to donors who support ALA scholarship funds to financially help students like you?
It is truly an honor to receive your generosity. Thank you for your support and believing in kids like me. We move around a lot, and that lack of roots in a local community can sometimes impact our access to resources like local scholarships. My family and I are so grateful the ALA is committed to helping military kids.