Morgan Park Academy marks Veterans Day each year with a celebration of our history as a military academy and of the service and sacrifices of the many family and friends within our school community who are active and former military members.

While we were not able to assemble in person for our usual all-school program, we were glad to award, for the second year, $5,000 scholarships to two students whose family members have served in the military.

This year’s scholarship recipients are freshman Caitlyn Tucker of Markham and junior Autymn Williams of Englewood, both strong students who wrote compelling essays demonstrating a desire to pursue equal access to justice.

Caitlyn, whose grandfather, aunt, uncle, and cousins served in the military, is a new Upper School student who has made a quick impact as a freshman representative on Student Council. She says her career goal is to serve her country in the military and become a defense attorney.

Autymn, whose grandfather served in the military, is an honor roll student, a soccer player, and a dancer who also shines as a violinist, studying at the Merit School of Music and performing often with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Her ambitions include continuing the work that her parents have done to revitalize their community and lift up their neighbors.

The scholarships were made possible by the Veterans’ Legal Aid Society, whose board chair, Amy Delaney, is an MPA parent.

“Service to the world around us has been a core value at Morgan Park Academy since our time as a military academy years ago,” Head of School Mercedes Z. Sheppard said. “That’s why we take time each Veterans Day to recognize the veterans in our community and why we are especially pleased to partner with the Veterans’ Legal Aid Society to provide this scholarship award.

“We’re glad that Autymn and Caitlyn are the second annual recipients. They are both worthy recipients for their contributions in the classroom, in student life, and in their communities.”

Veterans’ Legal Aid Society provides equal access to justice for Illinois veterans and their families by coordinating access to legal services for veterans through direct referrals to attorneys and legal aid organizations; supporting veteran’s legal aid programs; and assisting in the management of a trust to benefit veterans and their families.

In addition to that mission, Delaney said, the Veterans’ Legal Aid Society also is “committed to furthering access to justice by identifying young talent and ensuring their passions are fueled by an unsurpassed education at Morgan Park Academy, a former military academy where equality and justice now forms the bedrock of their institution.”