2017 Tillman Scholar
When Jason’s brother, a U.S. Marine, was hit head-on by a drunk driver, he was not expected to survive. However, he not only survived but also fought back through months of surgery and recovery to return to his full capacity on active duty and even deploy to Iraq. It was then that Jason knew he had to become a Marine in order to reach that level of commitment, strength, and selflessness. In 2006, Jason deployed to Haditha, Iraq with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines. Because of its crucial location, Haditha had been held under an oppressive insurgency for several years. Jason and his fellow Marines endured months of aggressive resistance in the fight to return freedom to the Iraqi people.
When Jason returned home, he wanted to make a difference in his community just as he had witnessed the Marines’ service make a difference in Iraq. Jason earned a degree and began working as a teacher in a disadvantaged school near his hometown Scranton, PA. While working within this community, Jason recognized that the region had an even more vital need. The area faces a physician shortage and many unique healthcare challenges. Jason again drew on his experience with the impact that can be made through service and left his position as a teacher to enroll in the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, which is located in the same town where he served as a teacher. Jason hopes to impact the delivery and availability of healthcare to the citizens of this region.