2019 Tillman Scholar

Andrew Gilroy

University of Michigan

“I have come to realize the optimal approach to addressing systemic societal inequality is through the empowerment of people living in poverty.”

Passionate about continuing his family’s tradition of service to country, Andrew received his naval commission as a Surface Warfare Officer one year before Sept. 11. During his four years of military service, he deployed on three occasions. His first overseas assignment was in the Persian Gulf where he participated in boarding operations in support of U.N. sanctions against Iraq. Throughout his travels, he observed rampant poverty and human suffering in countries such as East Timor. His experiences sparked a desire to dedicate his life to developing opportunities for those unfairly caught in the cycle of generational poverty. Andrew is a strong proponent of equality of opportunity and believes that every individual deserves the chance to realize self-actualization.

After resigning his commission, Andrew earned his MBA from the University of Michigan and embarked on a career in finance. During this time, he enthusiastically pursued his passion for volunteering on community and nonprofit boards. Over the last decade, he has advocated for investment in affordable housing and supported local organizations that assist homeless youth. Recently, he decided to change careers to fully dedicate his resources and efforts toward alleviating poverty. He returned to the University of Michigan to study the barriers faced by oppressed and marginalized communities and will complete a dual master’s degree in Social Work and Public Affairs in 2020. Upon graduation, Andrew intends to launch a social enterprise focused on transportation solutions. He desires to connect communities that lack transportation options with improved employment prospects that are otherwise inaccessible.