September 27, 2023

Coast Guard Spouse Awarded Hero Behind the Hero Scholarship

A teachable moment can sometimes apply to the teacher as well as the student as Chrystie Way of Woodbridge, Virginia, learned when she tried to explain to her 4-year-old girl the importance of taking responsibility for her failures.

“I explained to her there will always be an excuse for failure, but she needed to own her failure and think up possible solutions on how to solve her problem without my intervention. Later, I realized this life lesson applied to me even more so. I own my past decisions, but it is time to stop making excuses and continue my education,” said Way, who had been longing for a career in human resources.

This lesson paid off when Way applied to and won Columbia Southern University’s Hero Behind the Hero Scholarship, which she will use to help fund her pursuit of an MBA in human resource management.

The working mom was awarded the online university’s special scholarship which honors the spouses and children of active-duty public safety personnel (firefighters, law enforcement officers, EMTs and dispatchers) and National Guard and military men and women.

Way, the spouse of Lt. Morgan Way of the U.S. Coast Guard, was also inspired by her husband who graduated in 2016 from CSU with a master’s degree in organizational leadership.

“I observed his entire CSU experience from registration to coursework to eventual graduation to the practical application of coursework in his career field. His experience was overwhelmingly positive from every aspect,” said Way, adding that she was also encouraged by the flexibility of CSU’s online programs and financial options.

“When Morgan started his master’s degree program with CSU, I was pregnant with our first child. His graduate work continued as we transferred to a new duty station where he would be out to sea for months at a time,” explained Way. “I distinctly remember the day he first registered for classes thinking he would miss out on fatherhood between long stints out to sea and a heavy course load. I feared the added stress would make it impossible for us to have any type of quality family life. To put simply: I was wrong. CSU’s LifePace Learning worked with him to ensure he could remain active within our family.”

With the Hero Behind the Hero Scholarship, she will also be able to be there for her family while working toward her dream career.

“I firmly believe I will have the credentials, skills and knowledge to break into the human resources field as an assistant HR manager with an MBA from Columbia Southern University,” Way added.

To learn more about the Hero Behind the Hero Scholarship, visit