2020 Tillman Scholar

Theresa Jones

Military Spouse
University of San Diego

“Nonprofits fill needs in our society one mission at a time. As a leader in this sector, I want to ensure both financial and social success for these organizations.”

As a Tillman Scholar, Theresa received a graduate degree in nonprofit leadership and management at the University of San Diego. She was drawn to work in nonprofit service after the sudden loss of her husband.

Theresa met her husband, Landon, shortly before his 2001 commission into the Navy as a helicopter pilot. They married two years later and started their adventure as a military family.

Over the next decade, Theresa and Landon moved six times, including a three-year tour in Japan. The military lifestyle led Theresa to forego her career as a software engineering analyst. As an avid volunteer, she found purpose in service, which included leading the family readiness group at each squadron. Landon was tragically killed on September 22, 2013 while deployed. Theresa was left to be the sole provider for their children—a six-year-old and a two-month-old born during the deployment. Landon never had the opportunity to meet his youngest son.

Theresa and her sons were supported by several organizations after Landon’s death. As she searched for purpose in life, Theresa was drawn to contributing to the organizations that had given so much to them. She found that meaning as a dedicated volunteer. Theresa has been a youth character ambassador and chapter leader for a national nonprofit since 2014. She has also rucked two Marine Corps Marathons in support of their efforts.