The mission of the Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarship program is to help prepare military spouses for meaningful employment and to better contribute to their family's financial security.
Research shows that military spouses rank behind their civilian counterparts in education and employment opportunities and therefore are less able to contribute to the family's financial well being. This is due, in large part, to the many personal employment or academic sacrifices military spouses make to support service members' military career demands. Wartime realities increase the importance and difficulties of military spouse education.
In 2004, we launched our Joanne Holbrook Patton Military Spouse Scholarship Program to help fund the education of military spouses. The mission of this program is to help them prepare for meaningful employment and to better contribute to their family's financial security. We provide funds for a variety of educational and professional pursuits, including bachelor's, master's, and associate's degrees, certification programs, trade school, and GED and ESL classes and exams.
We have upwards of 10,000 applicants during an 8-week period each year, and award hundreds of scholarships. To date, we have distributed more than $3 million through the program. Military spouses require increased educational opportunities to help prepare for "the unthinkable." In the event that the service member has been wounded, a better education can allow a spouse to rebuild their family, and pursue careers best suited to supporting them long term.