2014 Tillman Scholar
As a military spouse and step-parent to a child on the autism spectrum, Lydia sought out community resources designed to assist families with the daily demands of military life and the complexities of raising a special needs child. Having benefitted from these resources, Lydia chose to give back to her community by serving as Family Readiness Group leader, Guardian ad litem, and board member of the local Autism Society. In her role as a community volunteer, Lydia worked with military families whose lives had spun out of control due to untreated mental health issues. Lydia has enrolled in the Masters of Social Work program at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Her goal as a social work professional–trained in both the science of human development and the practice and policies of social welfare agencies–is to implement policies that will positively impact the mental health and child abuse prevention services for our military families.