Latoya Scott

Branch: Marine Corps

Duty Station: Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Number of Deployments: 2

Number of PCS's: 3

Share your military spouse story:
10 years, 2 deployments, and 3 PCS moves later, I find myself far away from 12th st in Logan valley; the small ‘sinking’ neighborhood, located in North Philadelphia. From losing everything, like my home, and all my possessions (outside of what I could carry) - never could I have imagined, I would be where I am today. As the youngest of 4 siblings, to now, a wife of a loving husband and mother of 3 children -I am truly blessed to have seen grace continually manifest in my life. I grew up in a household of 5, with both parents. I had a very loving, hardworking foundation. Even in the early stages of my life, I have always had a close relationship with the military. My father, was retired Navy, and worked for the Philadelphia Water Department. My 2nd eldest sister later enlisted in the Marine Corps, and my mother, works for the local police department. The closest I ever got to joining, was becoming a volunteer for the Civil Air Patrol, Squadron 103, Philadelphia. The organization provided Aerospace Education to inner city youth, where I learned basic search and rescue tactics, how to sing cadence and even flew a airplane at the age of 16. I graduated from World Communications Charter School (WCCS) in 2002, as Senior Class President, of the 2nd Graduating Class. Even then I had a natural love for organizing events and people. At the time, WCCS was a fairly new school, and as president, I established ‘One Productions’. It was the first of many performing arts programs, to encourage teachers and students to collaborate in organizing events to fund student functions. At the age of 21, I was at the height of my life! I was in a deal to purchase my very first home in west Philadelphia and everything was looking great; until my rent to own deal went south, and I lost everything outside of what I could carry out. After loosing my home and belongings I moved to Jacksonville, NC to help my sister and it was then, I met my now husband, the love of my life!

Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
For the local spouses and their families, I have hosted 41 workshops that empower women and teens, foster self-esteem and teach etiquette to young children. Among those workshops, my team and I have developed a summer program for the arts, called M.A.D.S. (Modeling, Acting, Dancing and Sewing) to keep the youth active and creative throughout the season. As an active member of ‘The Father’s House’ Church, I provided marketing services and 20% of the merchandise for a clothing drive, resulting in max participation and local awareness, supplying clothes to 100 families throughout Onslow county. My church receives an abundance of pantry goods, that I often collect and distribute to neighboring military spouses and families in need. As an avid supporter of other non-profits, I hosted a multi collaborative charity event, worth $15,000, providing the ultimate prom experience to 30 local high school students, free to the public.

Describe your involvement in the military community:
Over the last 7 years, being stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, I have provided volunteer/leadership opportunities to 1,140 service members, 570 military spouses and civilians and orchestrated 38 events, from community-based to festivals, across 5 states, with 250 and up to 3000 attendees, each event.

Describe how you support your community:
For the City of Jacksonville, NC, I attend regular meetings, at the Chamber of Commerce, assisting with the marketing and event planning efforts for tourism, which contribute to the economy for the city and overall quality of life for local military families and service members. I am an advocate for small businesses, community involvement, military spouses and families. I utilize all my platforms to educate, support and inspire those around me and in each of my respective communities.

What do you advocate for? Why?
I advocate for community inclusion to help create positive social and professional, volunteer, and small business opportunities that provide leadership and project management experience for the local youth, aspiring creatives, the military spouse, and junior service members.

How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I have spread my message through local press, newspapers, radio, podcast interviews, social media, and speaking engagements.

What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year® title?
Today, I continue the path, in fostering creativity, as the Editor and Chief of my own magazine, CEO of a multi-state modeling conglomerate, and Vice President of a local non-profit, dedicated to the arts and creative development of all age groups. I will continue empowering military spouses to embrace each facet of life, through my duality as a mother, wife, small business owner, fashion visionary and pillar in my collective community.