“My dad means a lot to me, and what he did for his country makes me even prouder.”
Coast Guard Foundation scholar Haley Schaeffer was awarded a four-year RADM Arnold I. Sobel Scholarship to study Conservation Biology at St. Lawrence University in 2013. And thanks to this scholarship she began her junior year studying abroad in Kenya.
Haley is the daughter of BMC Daniel P. Schaeffer (Ret.) who was stationed in Michigan for four years in active duty before serving in the Coast Guard Reserve for 28 years in Portland, Oregon.
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, BMC Schaeffer returned to active duty service for one year.
“When 9/11 happened I was only six-years-old and did not quite realize the gravity of the situation,” said Haley. “But I look back now at the news clips and realize how important a part my father was -- my dad means a lot to me, and what he did for his country makes me even prouder.”
Our scholarship program is one of the ways we thank our brave men and women and their families for their incredible service to our nation, and we’re proud to be able to support Haley’s education and experiences such as her study abroad.
Haley was one of eight students from her university who traveled to East Africa in August 2015. Half of her time was spent in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi in the classroom studying and learning Swahili - the area’s most commonly used language. In her remaining time, she traveled around Kenya and the neighboring country of Tanzania learning about the culture and ecology of East Africa.
Haley visited and lived with several tribes immersing herself in their way of life, experiencing the hunter-gatherer lifestyle living entirely off the land, being taught how to make fire by rubbing two sticks together, and learning tribal dances and rituals.
At the end of the semester she interned at a research base which helped her to outline her goals beyond graduation which include establishing her own conservation education program to teach in local school districts in Portland.
We’re proud to be able to support Coast Guard families like the Schaeffers for their commitment to our country and the service.
If you, or someone you know, is a Coast Guard kid then our 2016 Scholarship season is now open for children of enlisted, active duty reserve and retired service members.
The Foundation provided more than $400,000 in scholarships in 2015 to ease the financial burden of college for Coast Guard families, and ensure Coast Guard kids like Haley can afford to reach their higher education dreams.
“I hope that I can keep my dad's words of wisdom with me forever; that I remember the lessons he taught me, and the most important one being after his death: that you hold your head high and you love, unconditionally.”