The American Military Partner Association (AMPA) is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2017 AMPA Military Spouse Scholarship, presented by Hilton — a brand new program aimed to help military spouses pursue their higher education goals.

At AMPA, we are committed to education, advocacy, and support for our modern military spouses and their families. Our new scholarship program is a key tool in our mission to support those who are often overlooked and under appreciated. Winners were selected by an impartial selection committee based on the applicant’s commitment to LGBT equality and community service.

Meet this year’s winners:

Martinique Woods

Martinique is completing her bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Fayetteville State University. Married to an Army Sergeant stationed at Fort Bragg, NC, Martinique is working to create a world where “all students feel safe, loved, and respected, no matter who they are.” She said, “Our fight for equality has just begun, but with AMPA and other organizations showing a strong force and presence, it will end in PURE VICTORY!”

Joshua Polanco

A Gold Star Spouse, Josh is studying for his associate degree in real estate at Mesa College in San Diego, California. Josh, who was married to LCDR Travis Haire, said, “Travis was planning to retire in a few years and had recently became a real estate agent in Hawaii. Our plan was to work the business together. My goal with a real estate degree is to fulfill our dream. I plan to work with military families and help them use the great VA home loan benefit”.

Jessica Runge

Jessica is completing her associate degree in social sciences at Tidewater Community College in Norfolk, Virginia. The spouse of an active duty Sailor, Jessica said, “My ultimate goal is to pursue a doctoral degree and work with families who have experienced trauma, giving them the guidance, therapy, and skills to cope with their situation and the hope that life does get better and there are people who truly care.”

Aileen B. Houston

Aileen is pursuing her master’s degree in English at Northern Arizona University. The spouse of a soldier stationed at Fort Huachuca, she specifically chose this degree field to help her with her current position at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). At NPS, she supports military officers, homeland security professionals, and other national security experts in the writing center and thesis office, an experience she has found to be “life-changing.”

Melissa Regnier

Melissa is pursuing her law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. The spouse of a sailor stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Melissa said, “I plan to use my degree to help empower victims of domestic violence, work place harassment, and help children escape from abusive homes. I want to make a difference in individual lives to restore confidence and power to victims that have had it taken away from them.”

Stand With AMPA

Stand with AMPA in our work fighting for our nation’s LGBT military families.