2009 Tillman Scholar

Amy Rowland

Capella University
M.S., Education Psychology

While serving as a counselor at the Education Center in Vicenza, Italy, Amy (an active duty Army spouse) discovered her passion for helping people. She loved encouraging soldiers and family members as they pursued their educational goals and wanted to have a greater impact someday as an Education Services Specialist. 

This led her to seek an MS in Educational Psychology in order to obtain the appropriate qualifications. However, as the family grew to four children under the age of 6, and another PCS came about, Amy began to realize that having a traditional job was not likely, nor desirable, in the near future.  

Yet, her desire to make a difference in the lives of others was still very strong. As a parent, she understood the challenge parents have when it comes to helping kids burn off energy in a healthy way, especially while traveling or new to an area, such as PCSing. 

Inspired by another PCS move, Amy created Play Across America, a free crowd-sourced iPhone App and website that helps families find and share playgrounds nearby wherever they go—in a local city or town, in an airport, along major interstates, and military installations. 

Though the career path Amy originally intended to follow has changed, her passion to help others has persevered. She has harnessed the flexibility and adaptability that all military spouses must develop in order to survive this lifestyle and utilized her passion in a new way: connecting kids to play and getting families outside, bonding with one another through all forms of play and activity.