By day, VaTema Ivy works diligently for the Air Force Enlisted Village, providing homes to survivors of retired airmen, parents of active-duty service members and retired military couples. By night, she is pursuing her master’s degree in organizational leadership.
“As director of development for AFEV, I’m responsible for building relationships with donors, as well as the marketing for the organization,” she said. “I lead a team of five and my bachelor’s degree in human resource management from CSU prepared me for managing a diverse team of individuals.”
Prior to earning her degree, Ivy, a Florida native, spent 25 years in the Air Force where she served in numerous leadership positions in California, Europe, Florida, Missouri and South Korea.
“I went into the service originally to only do four years and get a college degree, but after my first year, I knew I’d make the Air Force a career,” she said. “The Air Force afforded me the opportunity to travel and get an education that I would not have been able to on my own.”
With her time in the service now over and a bachelor’s degree under her belt, the Air Force veteran is now looking to move forward with her education by earning a master’s degree. With the Forever a Hero Scholarship, Ivy is one step closer to her goal. The Forever a Hero scholarship awards one military veteran every year with up to $25,200 in one online degree program at CSU.
“When I got word that I received this scholarship I was in a small state of shock,” she said. “I did not imagine that I would be the one receiving the scholarship since there are so many deserving veterans attending CSU.”
Ivy said the scholarship takes away the financial stress and allows her to focus on her courses which, in turn, will get her to her dream job.
“My master’s degree in organizational leadership will prepare me as I pursue my dream role in the nonprofit world as a CEO one day.”
Until then, Ivy will continue in her leadership role with the AFEV as she continues to do what she does best—serve others.
To learn more about the Forever a Hero Scholarship, visit ColumbiaSouthern.edu/Scholarships.