Making a Difference 

As the next generation of private and public sector leaders, the Tillman Scholars are tackling challenges across national security, healthcare, technology, civil rights, education and more.

Serving After Service: From the Ashes

The Serving After Service video series examines how Tillman Scholars are serving in new ways to strengthen communities and make an impact at home and around the world. This year’s episode features Chrissy Mott whose research focuses on invertebrates and their role in forest restoration following wildfires. 

2017 Tillman Scholar:

Chrissy Mott

U.S. Air Force | Northern Arizona University | Ph.D., Forestry

As an ecologist and Ph.D. student in Forestry department at Northern Arizona University, Chrissy Mott is working to understand the impact of invertebrates on forest restoration. While not much is known yet about how insects fit into the reforestation process, her research is helping to fill in these knowledge gaps and will allow scientists to see a more complete picture of the ecological processes that make wildfire recovery possible.

As wildfires continue to ravage the forests along the West Coast of the United States, her research will advance public policy and education, improving the health of forest habitats around the world.

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The Tillman Scholar Network

Tillman Scholars are military veterans and spouses with a high potential for impact as demonstrated through a proven track record of leadership, the continued pursuit of education and the commitment of their resources to service beyond self.

The tenets of the Tillman Scholar Program are:

  • Scholarships: Annual funding for academic expenses, including tuition, books, and living expenses
  • Professional Development: Opportunities to advance knowledge, skills, and experience
  • National Network: Access to a community of high-performing peers, mentors and industry leaders



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Tillman Scholars Redefine Change

Every year, the Pat Tillman Foundation receives thousands of applications from remarkable military veterans and military spouses nationwide. We choose up to 60 individual who are looking to change lives, one by one, on the ground. We’re supporting those who will make a difference in other people’s lives.

Meet Our Scholars

Katie Piston

Military Spouse

Researching nanocarriers that will deliver lifesaving medications to patients with neurodegenerative diseases and infected wounds.

Read Katie’s Story

Drew Garza


Working at NASA with hopes to help craft U.S. space policy that allows our country to explore boldly, benefit economically, secure American interests and support global humanitarian efforts.

Read Drew’s Story

Annie Kleiman

Air Force

Applying insights found through behavioral health science to solve issues related to global health issues and social good.

Read Annie’s Story

2013 Tillman Scholar:

Sam Innocent

U.S. Army | City College of New York | B.A., Political Science

A Brooklyn native, Sam joined the military as a path to pursue higher education. After a tour to Afghanistan as a combat medic, he returned to New York where he earned a B.S. in political science from City College of New York.

As a passionate advocate for quality education and jobs, Sam works as a veteran specialist for a workforce development company, collaborating with government agencies to develop programs to help veterans find employment.

Sam hopes to use his skills and experience to make an impact as an elected official in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville. Watch the Serving After Service series to learn more about his story.

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The Tillman Scholars Program

Since its inception, the Tillman Scholars Program has evolved into a world-class community of military service members, veterans and spouses, accepting 2.5 percent of applicants based exclusively on merit and potential for impact. PTF made a $1.2 million lifetime commitment to the 2019 Class of Tillman Scholars. This year, 60 Tillman Scholars were chosen from a pool of approximately 2,300 applicants.

Million Dollars Invested To Date

Tillman Scholars

Universities and Growing

Average GPA


Graduation Rate


Employment Rate

2013 Tillman Scholar:

Chris Diaz

U.S. Navy | Drexel University | M.S., Psychology

A thought leader in military and performance psychology, Chris is working to understand and share the science of the mind. His company, Serve1, is a human performance think tank that merges a collective of diverse experts who work with clients to help them tap into their mental potential. Currently working toward a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Drexel University, Chris also serves as a performance coach for the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute.

Using the principles of psychology, Chris works with athletes, executives and high performers to develop skills and strategies that allow them to be highly effective and make the most impact in their work or on the field. Watch the Serving After Service series to learn more about his story.

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Pat’s Run

Pat’s Run 2019 sold out in record time and raised over $1 million in support of the Tillman Scholars program.

From the first event held in 2005 with 5,000 participants, Pat’s Run has grown into the largest run in the nation to honor a fallen soldier.

About the run:
  • $1 Million+ raised in 2019
  • 28,000 Runners in Tempe, AZ
  • 4,033 Honor Runners across the country
  • 2nd largest military race
  • 18th largest race in the nation

Save the date:

The 16th Annual Pat’s Run will take place in April 2020. Registration opens in January 2020.

Media Highlights

All of the latest news and press releases for the Pat Tillman Foundation.

2019 Tillman Scholar Class Announced

2019 Tillman Scholar Class Announced

2019 TILLMAN SCHOLARS ANNOUNCED The Pat Tillman Foundation Invests More than $1.2 Million in Academic Scholarships to Empower Newest Class of Service Members, Veterans and Military Spouses Chicago, IL (June 10, 2019) – Today, the Pat Tillman Foundation (PTF) announced...

2018 Tillman Scholars Announced

2018 Tillman Scholars Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Shannon Speshock, Communications Manager (224) 408-0451, [email protected] 2018 TILLMAN SCHOLARS ANNOUNCED The Pat Tillman Foundation Invests More than $1.3 Million in Academic Scholarships to Empower Newest Class of...

Looking To Make A Difference?

Pints For Pat

Pints For Pat has grown into a national fundraising program that gives supporters an opportunity to honor Pat’s legacy and empower the Tillman Scholars in a fun and unique way.

Learn more about this tradition

Workplace Contributions

Your company can invest in the future by supporting the Tillman Scholars through a workplace giving campaign or corporate matches for your donation.

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Individual Contributions

Make a one-time or recurring donation to empower the Tillman Scholars. Contribute via check or online at

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You can help make a difference

The Pat Tillman Foundation relies on everyone who believes in empowering selfless leaders. Your contribution helps us create a future Pat worked for his whole life: one where selfless and courageous leaders made the world a better place for everyone.

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