The Law Firm of Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd is pleased to announce Grace Goehring as the winner of the Fall 2022 Veterans Scholarship, a $1,000 award granted twice per year that helps a deserving student who is a military veteran or family member of a military veteran, possesses good character, and is dedicated to furthering their education.
Grace’s story is that of strength, gratitude, and perseverance. An active member of the Air National Guard, Grace is a highly motivated woman driven to make her community and world safer, better, and more equitable for all. These qualities, combined with her career aspirations and tremendous sacrifice as an active military personnel, make Grace a more-than-deserving recipient of the HTLL scholarship.
Grace joined the South Dakota Air National Guard at the age of seventeen. After graduating high school, Grace knew she wanted to become a medical professional. For her, joining the military was a way for her to pay for college and quick start her medical career.
“My military service and experiences have influenced and shaped my life since I joined the South Dakota Air National Guard as a medic at seventeen . . . I initially joined the military to help with college financial expenses while simultaneously being able to start my medical career at a young age.”
While in the Air National Guard, Grace enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at Black Hills State University in South Dakota. On a pre-med track, Grace was majoring in biology and minoring in chemistry. However, Grace was called to serve her country and she deployed to the Middle East from December 2020 to January 2021.
“The military prepared me for my collegiate education in a multitude of ways. I took three semesters of undergrad off to complete military training as a medic and deploy. Because I had to sacrifice time away from school, I was very disciplined while I was present in school to take challenging courses and excel in them. In between my 75+ hour deployment work weeks, I spent my free time overseas completing online college courses and applying to various [physician assistant] programs.”
While many young soldiers pause their academic studies to deploy, Grace was determined to reach her goal. Grace enrolled in online courses, enabling her to keep up with her studies overseas; but it wasn’t without its challenges. The internet at her base could come offline without notice and be intermittent for days, and the immense pressure and stress of being away from family and friends was a daily burden that few can understand.
In fact, mental health is a serious concern and issue among solders and veterans. A passionate mental health advocate, Grace recognized the adverse effects that long family separations and lack of emotional and psychological support could have on deployed service men and women. Prior to deploying, Grace became a certified yoga teacher and she taught free yoga classes to service members while serving in the Middle East.
“I recognized the importance of mental health in the military and became a 200-hour registered yoga teacher in 2019. I offered over three hundred hours of free yoga and fitness classes to veterans and current service members in my local community. I continued to share yoga classes with other service members during my deployment from December 2020 to July 2021.”
When Grace returned from overseas, she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in December 2021. Now, she is pursuing her Master’s degree in physician assistant medicine at the University of Tampa. Grace attributes her success, perseverance, and discipline to her service experiences and her desire to make a positive impact within her community. Once she obtains her Master’s degree, Grace plans to commission into the Air National Guard as a Physician Assistant and work within the emergency services at the Department of Veteran Affairs.
“I want to utilize my education to become a [physician assistant] to build a positive relationship with my patients in my community and strengthen their views on the medical world. I want to listen to my patients and allow them to feel genuinely heard . . . I hope my support will provide comfort on the hard days and room for laughs on the good ones . . . I want to fill my cup; that way, I can pour it into others I encounter in my community and the service.”
The Law Firm of Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd was inspired, impressed, and humbled by Grace’s story. Her incredible strength and willingness to serve others in her drive to make her community and world better for all is a shining example of a true leader.
In her personal essay, Grace shared a journal entry that she wrote while deployed in the Middle East. We believe this message encompasses Grace’s character and is a reminder for us all to exhibit gratitude in our daily lives.
“I am in the Middle East for something bigger than myself.
I am here for freedom.
Freedoms for others back home.
Freedoms for other girls and families in Middle Eastern countries.
For their opportunity to go to school, gain an education, and have human rights.
How lucky am I?
I have all of the opportunities in the world.
Here I am.
I am lucky.
I am lucky for my chance to apply to physician assistant schools while deployed.
I am lucky for the chance to take college courses while deployed.
I am lucky for the opportunity to deploy where women were once denied.
I don’t have to do these things- I get to do these things.
I am lucky to be here.
I am grateful for my purpose.
I am blessed in my circumstances.”
Thank you Grace for your service and for sharing your story!
To learn more about the Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd Scholarship for Veterans and Their Families, please visit our official scholarship webpage Learn more about the Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd (Scholarship for Veterans) and Their Families.