Katie Baich is a high school graduate of Lincoln Charter School in Denver, North Carolina. While Katie was still a student, she came to Purple Heart Homes in an effort to host her Girl Scout Gold Award project. Here is her story:
“When I was twelve years old, my dad retired from the Navy, and we celebrated his service at the United States Naval Academy. I played my violin nervously in Memorial Hall during the ceremony, and was so impressed with the grandeur of the buildings. More importantly, I was impressed with the people who were there. In contrast to the daily grind of being the daughter of a military official, I was impressed with this community of people who had experiences beyond my comprehension. I have grown to appreciate our Veterans who have given so much so that I can sleep peacefully at night.
I have been a Girl Scout since I was in kindergarten, and when faced with the dilemma of what to do for a Gold Award, I thought about who I wanted to serve. I live in an area where there is not a significant population of military personnel. My awareness of our declining Veteran population, the significance of their struggles, and their contributions to our quality of life have made my heart so gracious and humble. I knew that I wanted to do something for those who have served our great country.
My project has taken some effort to get off from the ground. I needed to satisfy the Girl Scout requirements and have a project that was compatible with the organization I would be working with. I believe that I found a perfect match with Purple Heart Homes. I support Purple Heart Homes’ efforts to help wounded Veterans feel appreciated and cared for. I feel that my project aligns with their mission of providing housing solutions for Service Connected Disabled Veterans that is substantial in function, design, and quality, fit to welcome home the fighting men and women of America.
The goal of my project is to establish an endowed scholarship that will benefit the children and grandchildren of Veterans served by Purple Heart Homes. Additionally, I want my Gold Award to bring awareness within our communities as to the sacrifices and needs of our military personnel. The screening process of Purple Heart Homes guarantees that the recipient of the scholarship will be well-qualified and deserving. There will be an application for the scholarship, and the recipient will be decided upon by the Board. The scholarship will assist with housing and living expenses while students pursue advanced education. Due to the fact that our military personnel are not compensated highly, the costs of pursuing education can be limiting for their families. My hopes are that this endowment can make it possible for Veteran families to reach their dreams and potential.
My Gold Award requires much time and coordination. There are small hurdles that I have needed to overcome. For example, can my project align with the mission of Purple Heart Homes? Also, is there a reliable process in place that can support my project long-term? Working with other people on my project has been more difficult than I expected, because higher education and the needs of Veteran are not understood by all. The resources and initiatives required for the project are to design a website, set up an endowment, and communicate the vision of the project in order to solicit financial support from individuals and companies. The most valuable resource I need to accomplish my project is the people that I work with. My hope is that my Gold Award will give back to those Veterans who have given our country so much.”
If you are interested in applying for the Katherine Baich Endowed Scholarship, you can access the application HERE.
Fill out the form below to help Katie achieve her goal of helping the children and grandchildren of Veterans: