A retired Airman’s son attends Caltech with support from AFAS

Andrew Pasco’s father retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel after 20 years of active and reserve duty combined. Lt Col Pasco joined the Air Force to be a pilot because of his strong desire to serve his country. It means a great deal to his father that “he could help make the world a safer and better place for everyone”. 

Lt Col Pasco was part of the Air Force family during his service, and this Air Force community continues to offer support even after retirement. It’s this family that is helping his son achieve his dream of attending a world-class university.  

During Andrew’s senior year of high school, he was accepted to the prestigious California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Andrew immediately began researching scholarships to help offset the high cost of tuition and found the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) Gen. Henry H. Arnold Education Program “Hap Arnold Grant,” in which he received a merit scholarship. 

The $5,000 merit scholarships from AFAS are available to dependent children of active duty and retired Airmen who demonstrate outstanding academic potential based on GPA. 

To be eligible, Andrew had to first apply for AFAS’s Hap Arnold Grant, which is a needs-based grant. It is not necessary to qualify for a grant in order to be considered for a merit award, but an applicant must initially apply for the grant. With his 4.0 GPA and winning essay, Andrew received both the Merit Scholarship and the Hap Arnold Grant. 

“I was so happy to find out I was selected for the grant and merit scholarship,” Andrew recalls. The financial support “allows me to focus completely on my academic pursuits without the additional burden of worrying about the cost of my education,” he says.

Now in his freshman year at Caltech, Andrew is attending class virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s focused on excelling at his academics and appreciates the opportunity the Society has given him. 

Andrew is grateful for the many resources available through AFAS. “It means so much to me that this organization continues to support members of the Air Force and their dependents even after they retire,” says Andrew. “My family and I want to express our gratitude for the generous support of the donors.”

The Air Force Aid Society is the official charity of the U.S. Air Force and has been meeting the unique needs of Airmen and their families since 1942. AFAS works to support and enhance the USAF mission by providing emergency financial assistance, educational support, and community programs.  Since 2008, AFAS has provided more than $215 million in direct support to Air Force families. Visit www.afas.org to learn more, apply for assistance or to donate.