November Is a Time to Honor and Thank Members of the Military and their Families

November 21, 2023

On Veterans Day, our nation paid tribute to those who have served in the U.S. military. This month is also an opportunity to recognize military families for their ongoing sacrifice and service to our nation.

November is National Veterans and Military Families Month. Although families of military members do not don the uniform, their contributions are crucial to supporting our troops. Military spouses manage everything on the home front while their loved ones deploy. They pack up all their worldly possessions every few years and relocate to new communities, enroll their children in new schools, make new friends and quickly lay down new roots. They play a pivotal role in the lives of military service members and deserve recognition for their dedication.

For Sydney Scholl, the three most important things in her life right now are being the mother of two young boys ages three and five, a military spouse and a NOVA student.


Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background:

I've been with my husband, who's in the Air Force, for about seven years. We met in Missouri and married. I got pregnant and we packed up and moved to Colorado, where I had my first son.

Three years later, when I was eight months pregnant with my second, we packed up again and  moved to Charleston, South Carolina, in the middle of the summer and at the peak of the pandemic. We were in South Carolina for three years before moving to Virginia.

We've done all the moves ourselves, with kids and animals in tow, doing all the packing, loading, driving and everything. It's a lot of work and brings with it all the stress of moving, but we don't mind.

For me, resettling is the hardest part. We've been constantly on the move, making it nearly impossible for me to even think about starting school myself.

I've been a licensed cosmetologist for 13 years, but I had to give up my profession because of the constant moving and the need to rebuild my clientele list with every move.

What brought you to NOVA and what are you studying?

We moved here in August. I needed something I could easily get into and get started with, and NOVA made the process so simple.

I was initially going to do the nursing program, and I was excited. Then, after starting some of the prerequisites and getting a better idea of what was involved, I realized it was not the right path for me, so I switched to business management. This is my first semester, so I'm still very new to NOVA but it's been a good experience so far.

NOVA allows me to get an associate in business management, which will be great because I can transfer that into a civilian job or a government contractor position.

A lot of times, those jobs can travel from base to base. It makes it much easier to stick with one job rather than always having to find a new position and start all over again.

Tell Us About Your Experience at NOVA, i.e., professors you’ve liked and friends you’ve met. 

The kindness and understanding that I've seen from some professors, I have never seen before. They maintain their professionalism while being courteous and kind to their students without crossing any lines.

What would you tell a student coming to NOVA?

Stay organized to avoid getting stressed out or overwhelmed with school. Be open with your professors. Once you forget a project or become disorganized, you start falling behind. But when that happened to me after my son got sick, I couldn't go to class and missed a lot of material. My professor was very understanding, and I was given an opportunity to make up the work I missed.

Where do you see yourself after NOVA or what career pursuits are you exploring?

I plan to find a way to finish my degree, at NOVA; or I may have to finish my last few classes somewhere else. We’ll be here for two years. Then we will be out the door. It’s already decided. It’s just unknown as to where we’ll be going. But we’ll be on the road in two years, almost to the day.

Then, once we’re out of the military, I’ll use my degree for my business. The ultimate goal is to have my own salon. I want to transfer all my knowledge and skills into starting, running and owning a salon.

Topics: featured article, student success