A recipient of the Hap Arnold Grant can pursue her dream job

Erin Velott knew she would have to pay for college herself. She also knew that she didn’t want to take on huge student loan debt. So, Erin’s dad retired MSgt Harvey Velott, sent her an application for the General Henry “Hap” Arnold Grant, a centerpiece of the Air Force Aid Society’s (AFAS) education program.

A competitive grant with needs-based criteria, the Hap Arnold Education Grant weighs family income and education costs. Upon selection as a recipient, Erin felt excited to be able to attend college loan-free, and she felt special for being chosen. She also saw the grant as another way that the Air Force supports not just its Airmen, but their families as well. 

Currently a sophomore at Delaware State University, Erin is studying natural resources and wildlife management. The grant from AFAS allows her to focus on her studies while maintaining one job, not two or three, as she feared. 

“Because of receiving this grant, I’m able to attend school for four years and get my dream job, and I’m not stressing as much,” says Erin.  Erin further adds that the education grants allow the recipients to focus on school, instead of worrying about how to pay for it.

With a degree in natural resources and wildlife management upon graduation in 2022, Erin plans to become a game warden, assisting with wildlife conservation. “It’s been a dream of mine since I think I was four or five,” Erin recalls. 

Erin thanks AFAS and its generous donors in advance for helping her achieve her dream job!

The Air Force Aid Society is the official charity of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) 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.