‘Scholarship Taught Me to Never Give Up’

Veteran Jackson Lee is grateful for his chance to serve and go back to school as he considers his future

Jackson Lee, 43, lives in Calabasas, California, and is in his seventh year of service with the Air Force and Air National Guard. Lee had several reasons for enlisting, including to provide for his 19-year-old son, Joel.

Veteran Jackson Lee“I joined in hopes of participating in humanitarian missions, as well as defending this country,” he said. “Secondarily, I did it to support my own education and to contribute to my child’s college fund.”

As a Department of Defense (DoD) contractor, Lee works in cybersecurity and IT administration. He recognized how an advanced degree could benefit his career as well as those his work affects.

“What I learned with my bachelor’s degree aligns with today’s advanced technology,” he said. “Through graduate school, I hope to learn more and apply newfound leadership and management traits to better serve my country as I rank up in my military service.”

Lee looked online for financial assistance and found the VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship” and applied. Today, he is pursuing his Master of Science in leadership and management at the University of La Verne and appreciates the aid.

“I sincerely thank those who made this scholarship available. Fulfilling the desire for a college or advanced degree is challenging,” he said. “For many military personnel, it would not be possible without organizations like the VFW that help students accomplish this mission and other life goals.”

Lee hopes other service members will think seriously about their own education and future hopes.

“Each piece of knowledge and the experiences you gain in school will add value and help you continue serving to have a positive impact in the world,” he said. “Consider the meaning and purpose you’re looking for and how an education can benefit you and your loved ones.”

Lee is grateful for his chance to serve and go back to school as he considers his future.

“This scholarship has motivated me and taught me to never give up,” he said. “And having the opportunity to serve in the U.S. military is a great honor. At the same time, adversity and change can make us wonder if our participation makes a difference, but service teaches us how to overcome hardship and be able to bounce back no matter the challenge.”

Learn more about the VFW "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship."