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Major, U.S. Army
Bachelor of Science Dietetics and Nutrition from Keiser University
During her first year of college, Lakeisha enlisted in the US Army Reserves as an automated logistical specialist. Upon graduation from college in 2003, she went on active duty where she served in a variety of careers fields including as a chemical officer, logistical support team officer in charge, military intelligence officer, signals intelligence officer, mortuary affairs officer, and electronic warfare officer; her last assignment was as acquisition officer. Lakeisha’s most significant accomplishment was during her second deployment to Iraq from 2009 to 2010 when she received a bronze star for her work as an electronic warfare officer. Lakeisha served as one of the first US Army electronic warfare officers, which was a position traditionally filled by Air Force or Navy personnel. Throughout her time-of-service Lakeisha developed depression, anxiety, and various physical conditions that her service dog, Chance now assists her with.
Lakeisha returned to school to attend Keiser University and was accepted to Sentinels of Freedom in January 2017. SOF supported her with financial assistance during the pursuit of her education as well as introductions to a financial coach and mentoring opportunities. The support form SOF allowed Lakiesha to move closer to her school which made a former two-hour commute only nine minutes. This allowed her to focus dedicate more time to her studies and accept an unpaid internship at that Miami Veterans Affairs Health Care System. Following her graduation from Keiser University she studied hard to pass the Licensed Nutritionist Exam and has since accepted a full-time position as a Registered Dietitian at East Alabama Medical Center.
Lakiesha has shared: “I am grateful for the Sentinels of Freedom (SOF) grant, without it, I am not sure I would have been able to finish my education…I also received phone calls quarterly to check on how I was doing, and during every phone call, the SOF representative always asked if I needed anything and how I was doing physically. These calls were a little reminder that I was not alone in my education journey.”