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Press Release

OH and SNHU Honor Five Military Spouses

By Operation Homefront

May 10, 2024

Operation Homefront and Southern New Hampshire University Honor Five Military Spouses with Full-Tuition Scholarships on Military Spouse Appreciation Day

SAN ANTONIO, TX – Operation Homefront, the national nonprofit whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families, announced today that it proudly joins with longtime partner, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), to award five military spouses with full-tuition scholarships in honor of Military Spouse Appreciation Day.  

Operation Homefront and SNHU share the belief that military families, who selflessly serve alongside their service member on behalf of all Americans, should be celebrated.  With the challenges inherent to military life, completing a college education can feel like an unattainable goal for many military spouses.  Since 2014, SNHU has partnered with Operation Homefront to celebrate military spouses and award full-tuition scholarships that have made the dream of achieving education goals a reality for more than 40military spouses nationwide.

“With frequent moves, deployments, and often living far from family, military spouses struggle to complete a traditional degree and pursue a meaningful career,” said Brig Gen (ret) Robert D Thomas, President & COO of Operation Homefront. “We are so grateful to Southern New Hampshire University for providing these five very deserving military spouses with a chance to realize their dreams, regardless of where the military may take their families, and enjoy a more strong, stable, and secure future in the communities they’ve worked so hard to protect.”

“SNHU takes great pride in our longstanding commitment to serving the military community, a legacy dating back to World War II,” said Jeremy Owens, AVP of University Partnerships, SNHU. “It is our privilege to reaffirm our dedication by actively reducing barriers and fostering opportunities for military spouses and their families. The sacrifices made by military families merit recognition, and SNHU is deeply honored to play a pivotal role in empowering military spouses to pursue their educational aspirations.”

Recipients of SNHU scholarships include:

Arin Lelevier, Hawaii, Navy Spouse

Arin looks forward to working toward a degree in psychology to positively impact children as a school counselor. As the spouse of a submariner, she has often dreamed of having a permanent residence and looks forward to planning for the future. Arin says this opportunity to earn her degree online will be life-changing and will not only will make her the first in her family to graduate with a college degree but will also show her children that you can achieve your goals, even while facing life’s challenges.

Kelly Sleesman, Hawaii, Navy Spouse

Kelly is interested in pursuing SNHU’s Human Resources Management or the Human Services – Child and Family programs.  As a military spouse for over 15 years, she has faced five permanent changes in station and multiple deployments, all while parenting four children. As an Ombudsman, Kelly is the link between command and sailors’ families. She looks forward to being the first person in her immediate family to obtain a college degree and pursue a career helping military families find programs and services to support them.

Shante Cruz, Washington, Army Spouse

Shante is excited to pursue a degree in business administration and work to achieve goals that she set aside while being a caretaker to her four daughters during multiple moves, including one overseas.  As her family prepares for military retirement in the future, she feels a degree will open doors to more opportunities to contribute financially and to model the importance of education for her children.

Casey Saunders, North Carolina, Army Spouse

Casey, inspired by a family member’s cancer fight, plans to utilize her SNHU education to ultimately pursue a clinical practicum at a cancer registry before taking the Oncology Data Specialist Exam. Through three deployments in the past seven years, Casey has kept the household running while being the primary caretaker for her children. Casey believes it is never too late to pursue, change, or restart a dream and looks forward to making an impact on those going through cancer. 

Madelyn Davis, Mississippi, Air Force Spouse

Madelyn spent her first ten years as a military spouse unable to start her collegiate journey because of frequent moves, adjustments, and finances. She later earned her BA in Human Services and Family Development, allowing her to work in education. Madelyn is looking forward to earning her MS in Psychology which will give her a greater amount of working freedom with online educational therapy positions consulting with more families in need of services for their children. Regardless of where the military takes them, the degree will grant her the opportunity to bring her work with her rather than restarting her career each time her family is called to move.

About Operation Homefront:
Operation Homefront is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build strong, stable, and secure military families so that they can thrive – not simply struggle to get by – in the communities they have worked so hard to protect. Recognized for superior performance by leading independent charity oversight groups, 83 percent of Operation Homefront expenditures go directly to programs that support tens of thousands of military families each year. Operation Homefront provides critical financial assistance, transitional and permanent housing, and family support services to prevent short-term needs from turning into chronic, long-term struggles. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support from thousands of volunteers, Operation Homefront proudly serves America’s military families. For more information, visit OperationHomefront.org.

About Southern New Hampshire University:
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a private, nonprofit institution with a 91-year history of educating traditional-aged students and working adults. Now serving more than 200,000 learners worldwide, SNHU offers approximately 200 accredited undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, available online and on its 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH. Recognized as one of the “Most Innovative” regional universities by U.S. News & World Report and one of the fastest-growing universities in the country, SNHU is committed to expanding access to high quality, affordable pathways that meet the needs of each learner. Learn more at www.snhu.edu.

Media Inquiries:
Erin Burgy – Senior Director, Integrated Public Relations                           
Erin.Burgy@OperationHomefront.org 
(469) 934-7131

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