Posts Tagged ‘Pershing Square Foundation’

Frances KarnuthWhether you’re military or civilian, we’ve all had those overwhelming moments that just seem impossible to overcome. This week’s featured ThanksUSA scholar, Frances Karnuth, has a very inspirational outlook on those moments. “You can sit there and be overwhelmed, or you can get up and change the situation. Your goals are much more attainable than you think!”

A Coast Guard spouse and mother of six, Frances was awarded a $3,000 Pershing Square Foundation/ThanksUSA scholarship for her Psychology and Nursing majors. With the end goal of becoming a Nurse Practitioner, Frances is currently enrolled in both Regent University and Maryville University.

Over twenty years ago, Frances enrolled in a nursing program and was doing very well. Unfortunately, she had to take a medical leave of absence and during that time, the school closed. Although she was unable to complete the program, Frances says, “The desire to become a nurse never waned.”

Though a nursing degree was still her goal, family commitments took priority. Her husband, Franz, was beginning an active-duty career in the United States Coast Guard and the couple were starting their family.

When she was just three years old, the Karnuths’ eldest daughter, Janelle, was diagnosed with cancer. “This resulted in years of extensive chemotherapy and follow-up appointments.” Being a stay-at-home mom during those years provided the entire family with nurturing stability and consistency.

Frances has home-schooled each of her children. Over the years, she has grown to recognize different learning styles and study habits. Having to adjust a lesson plan or modify her teaching has had a very positive effect on her as a student. Frances explains, “I have a better understanding of how to adapt so that I can succeed.”

If her teaching success is any indication, Frances will have no problem succeeding as a student. Today, Janelle is a happy, healthy, young woman who is working towards a degree in Creative Arts Therapy. Son Josh is a lab technician at a package testing laboratory (he actually gets to blow things up!), while son Tim is a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army. Younger children, Josiah, Eric, and Elisha still sit down and do homework at the same time as Mom. “They often see me working just a hard as they do. I learn–that’s my job!” In 2009, Franz retired from the Coast Guard after 22 years of service. He continues to serve our country as a civilian.

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Many military spouses contemplate returning to school. When asked if she had advice to offer, Frances said, “It’s easier if you’re flexible with your goals. I plan to accomplish my professional goal by working diligently towards completing smaller goals.”

Setting those smaller goals is certainly working to her advantage. Frances will earn her Associates Degree in Psychology this spring from Regent University and will transfer to Maryville as a full-time student seeking dual Bachelor degrees in Nursing and Psychology.  She explains, “By including both physical and psychological aspects to my training as a nurse practitioner, I will be better equipped to understand the medical needs of my patients.”

With encouragement from her loving family, the military community, and ThanksUSA supporters, Frances will continue to succeed. She is appreciative of the Pershing Square/ThanksUSA scholarship and says, “Your gift helps me financially and has provided a much-needed dose of emotional encouragement. It is wonderful knowing that others have faith in me. Thank you again–I won’t let you down.”

The ThanksUSA team extends our warmest wishes to all families, military and civilian, this Holiday season. We thank you for contributing to ThanksUSA scholarships in 2013 and encourage you to support the educational goals of military spouses, like Frances, by making your tax-deductible donation to ThanksUSA today.



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Max and Allison Cochran

Knowledge, sensitivity, and compassion…just a few of the many traits that you expect from a dedicated medical professional. Our first featured scholar of 2010 is Allison Cochran, a military spouse who received a $3000 ThanksUSA/Pershing Square Foundation Scholarship. “Receiving the ThanksUSA scholarship has helped me immensely this year. It has allowed me to focus more on my studies and less on the financial burden of college. For this I cannot thank you enough.” Allison is a Physician Assistant student at Louisiana State University: School of Medicine where she is gaining the necessary skills and knowledge to become an essential member of a health care team. 

Allison chose the medical field because of her compassion. “For me, the decision to seek a career in the medical field was about having the chance to connect with people every day and use the newest medical discoveries and technologies in order to keep them healthy. I learned about Physician Assistants and thought it sounded too good to be true, so I began shadowing PAs between classes while I was in college. I soon fell in love with it and knew I would do whatever it took to be a Physician Assistant one day,” says Allison. 

Striking a balance between school and a military lifestyle can be a challenge. When Allison’s husband, Max, joined the U.S. Air Force in 2007, there was concern about duty stations and relocation. Allison explains, “I did not know if we would get stationed near a college that offered a Physician Assistant Program, and if we did I didn’t know if I would be accepted due to the high chance of relocation in the military. Thankfully, we did get stationed near a PA program, and I was accepted. I have now completed two semesters of the PA program at LSU Health Sciences Center, and I thank God for allowing everything to work out the way it did.” The Cochrans are currently at Barksdale AFB in Shreveport, LA, where Max is a crew chief on B-52s in the 2nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron 11th APG. 

Allison has excelled in her studies at LSU. She is a Phi Eta Sigma member and maintains a 3.9 GPA. She has been president of her class for two years and is the secretary of her 2011 PA class. Her dedication doesn’t end in the classroom. Allison has volunteered with several organizations including Second Wind Dreams, Ronald McDonald House, Race for the Cure, and the American Red Cross. After graduation, Allison plans to volunteer her medical services through organizations such as Project Hope and Medical Teams International. “There are so many people in this world in need of healthcare as well as compassion,” she adds. 

ThanksUSA is proud to count Allison Cochran among our scholarship recipients. She is truly a woman of compassion who will use her medical skills to make a positive impact on many lives. Upon completion of her degree, Allison looks forward to a very rewarding and exciting career as a Physician Assistant. Allison and Max also plan to start a family. With so much devotion, love, and care between the two of them, I know they will make wonderful parents!

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