Military Spouse Receives Hero Behind the Hero Scholarship

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Columbia Southern University award will help Arizona wife and mother continue pursuit of online degree in business administration

LaShari Tolliver

“As an active duty spouse, this scholarship will also serve as a beacon to other active duty spouses that we can obtain our degrees despite the frequent moves,” said LaShari Tolliver, of Tuscon, Ariz., on her recent Hero Behind the Hero Scholarship presented by Columbia Southern University.

“I like to consider myself a true ‘hero behind the hero!’ I have supported my husband through tours in Korea and two tours in Afghanistan while raising our five children, with one of them being severely disabled,” said Tolliver, whose husband, Chief Master Sgt. Larry Tolliver, is currently deployed in the Middle East with the Air Force.

The Hero Behind the Hero Scholarship, which honors the spouses and children of active-duty public safety personnel (firefighters, law enforcement officers, EMTs and dispatchers) and military men and women, covers tuition for up to 24 months for one specific online degree program with CSU. The scholarship is awarded six times a year to two individuals each time.

The mother of five and CSU student said she wants to use this educational opportunity to continue her pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in business administration with specialization in management.

“I have worked for the Defense Commissary Agency for over 10 years and had to stop working to provide more intense care for my daughter’s special needs. It has been extremely hard to find another job where I can make enough to provide the special care my daughter needs while also bring more money into the home,” said Tolliver, 40.

One of several reasons Tolliver said she chose to seek a degree with CSU was because of the school’s good reputation and “I was extremely impressed with the varieties of online degrees that CSU offered.”

Tolliver said attending an online university shows her children “you are never too old to get a college degree. With both of us having our degrees it further solidifies our importance on higher education for our five children, while also proving to others that military spouses are truly the heroes behind the Heroes.”

CSU offers online associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in various fields including criminal justice, fire science, occupational safety and health and business administration.

To learn more about the Hero Behind the Hero Scholarship, please call 888-785-3006 or send an email to hero(at)columbiasouthern(dot)edu. If you would like learn more about CSU, please visit

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Anthony Cornealius
Columbia Southern University
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