Legacy Scholarship helps daughter of a disabled veteran follow dreams

Molly Albrecht knew early on in life that she wanted a career as a speech-language pathologist from her time receiving speech therapy as a young child. Albrecht’s career choice has since been solidified from watching her father, a 20-year U.S. Navy veteran, receive speech and language therapy due to health reasons. However, with her father’s unemployment from health complications, which has affected her family’s income, 19-year-old Albrecht of Woodhull, Ill., thought her career dreams and those of attending the college of her choice would not be feasible. That was, until she received The American Legion Legacy Scholarship.

Albrecht said she had “tears of joy” after receiving word that she was a 2017 Legacy Scholarship recipient. It meant that her education at Indiana State University (ISU) in Terre Haute, Ind., would continue and she could “follow my dreams and help give back the way my father did when he was in the military.”

The American Legion Legacy Scholarship provides college money of up to $20,000 for the children of U.S. military personnel killed on active duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001, as well as for children of post-9/11 veterans with a combined VA disability rating of 50 percent or higher.

The first phone call Albrecht made to share the exciting news was to her mother, Mary Beth. “She cried; she was so happy for me,” Molly said of her mother. “We are all just very thankful for (the Legacy Scholarship). It’s a blessing.”

Albrecht’s mother and father, James, who is an American Legion member, learned of the scholarship through The American Legion Magazine.

“We are so thankful that our daughter is able to continue her education, and we want to thank the American Legion Legacy Scholarship donors for all that they have done to make this possible,” James and Mary Beth said. “We feel very blessed as a family to be a part of The American Legion.”

Albrecht graduated valedictorian of her high school and is in the honors program at ISU. She earned an academic scholarship to ISU, but since it’s not enough to cover the high cost of an undergraduate education, the Legacy Scholarship is helping to bridge that gap. And Legacy Scholarship recipients may reapply up to six times for the expense of graduate or post-graduate tuition, books, room and board, meal plans, transportation and other supplies needed to achieve a higher education.

Albrecht said the scholarship is allowing her to “not stress about money and focus on classes instead of working multiple jobs. (My parents) can’t really help me pay for school, so it’s definitely a blessing that I can reapply.”

Once Albrecht, now a sophomore, achieves her undergradate degree as a speech-language pathologist, she plans on pursuing her master's and then hopes to work with children in a hospital or school setting, or with veterans as she’s seen how much speech therapy has helped her father.

“I would like to say thank you (for The American Legion Legacy Scholarship),” Albrecht said. “It is so helpful, and it means so much that I’m able to receive this scholarship. It has helped a lot, so I can’t say thank you enough.”

The 2018 American Legion Legacy Scholarship will be online Nov. 15 at www.legion.org/scholarships for new and returning applicants to fill out electronically and submit. Application deadline is April 9.