This spring, CommonBond offered a $3,000 scholarship to students in military families to help defray the costs of college. Just before Memorial Day weekend, we were thrilled to select our winner.
Kendall Faison comes from a close-knit family, and he speaks highly of how his father’s military service has inspired him. Lieutenant Colonel (Promotable) Carl Faison has served in the Army for 24 years, and now has three sons: Carl II, Kendall, and Kaleb. While there are several benefits programs available to military families, the rising cost of college—and all its associated expenses—means that many are still looking to close the funding gap. For the Faisons, that constant vigilance of keeping an eye out for scholarships paid off.
It was Kendall’s mother Latorial, a poet, author, and educator, who had initially learned about the scholarship—and they were both excited to get the call from CommonBond. As Kendall says, “My mom could not believe it! She was so excited because she and my Dad could really use the help to pay my expenses for the next two years. Both parents were extremely happy to know that $3,000 was coming to help with next year. It was a relief really.”
Kendall says his father’s Army career has brought the family together and given them the opportunity to experience life in five different U.S. states and even spend some time in southeast Asia. Kendall shares about those moves, “I feel that it has made our family stronger and closer because we rely on each other even more when we move to a new place. Also, it has been an honor to observe up close how our military protects and serves our country.”
Regarding how his father’s service has inspired him personally, Kendall has no shortage of insight: “My father’s military service has inspired me by leading by example. Having a father in the military has shown me how to be a leader in different situations and also make sure I do my best whenever I am working with others…He has taught me through his service to always be punctual, treat others with the respect that I would want them to give me, and to have confidence in myself and those around me.”
CommonBond knows the value of military service and how it goes hand-in-hand with leadership. Our Chief Operating Officer, Robb Granado, is an Air Force veteran who credits the military with teaching him resilience, and the spirit of service leadership. He says, “Leadership is much more about followership and sacrifice for one's team than about charisma and individual capability. When I left the military for graduate school and as I entered the private workforce, this concept of service: to my team, to my company, to my customers has persisted, and I credit the leadership training and the service culture of the Air Force for instilling that in me early in my career.”
Looking ahead, our scholarship winner Kendall is wrapping up his sophomore year at University of Virginia. He plans to major in Environmental Science and is also thinking about grad school. He is particularly interested in environmental management and how we can maintain a healthy environment for future generations. We’re excited for Kendall and what he’ll achieve in the future, and we’re honored that we can thank this military family in a small way for the service and sacrifice they make. We know that even for the strongest Americans, paying for college can be hard. CommonBond is proud to support military families in paying for college. Congrats Kendall!