A staff sergeant’s wife can finish her bachelor’s degree thanks to AFAS

Staff Sergeant Conrad Borgerding followed in both of his grandfathers’ footsteps by joining the Air Force. He even followed in one of his grandfather’s footsteps literally by holding the same job in Aircraft Maintenance. His decision to carry on his family’s tradition was an easy decision to make. “It was a no brainer,” the Staff Sergeant says. “Their stories and the pride they held when talking about their time in the service was inspiring, and I wanted that,” he recalls.

After more than 13 years of service, SSgt Borgerding found the long-term career he dreamt of when he joined the Air Force. Now his wife, Stephanie, is able to achieve her dream of an education, thanks to a new scholarship through a partnership between the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) and Columbia Southern University. The scholarship was available to the spouse of an Airman or Guardian.

As the first recipient of the scholarship, Stephanie will use it to finish her degree in psychology, something that she put on hold after she was diagnosed with cancer. “It has been a long recovery,” says Stephanie, “but this scholarship has been just the push I needed to get back to finishing out that dream!”

Stephanie plans to combine her own life experiences to help improve the lives of people she works with and those in her community. “I promise to use this blessing to continue blessing others!” she assures everyone.

With less financial stress to deal with, Stephanie can achieve her goals and also show her daughters how an education can help make dreams a reality.

Grateful for the blessings she’s received and for the Society’s generous donors, Stephanie wants all Airmen and Guardians to know that AFAS is there for them. “We are all family,” she explains, “and we should help support each other through the good and bad times life throws at us.”

Currently expecting their second child, the Borgerdings are excited for whatever life holds for them.

Incorporated in 1942, the Air Force Aid Society continues to meet the unique needs of Airmen and Guardians. AFAS works to support and enhance the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force missions by providing emergency financial assistance, educational support, community programs and disaster relief to Air Force and Space Force families. In 2022, AFAS provided over $12.5 million in assistance to more than 17,000 Air Force and Space Force families. Visit www.afas.org to learn more, apply for assistance, or to donate.