Branch: Air Force
Duty Station: Scott Air Force Base
Number of Deployments: 4
Number of PCS's: 5
Share your military spouse story:
I grew up in Colorado Springs, home of the Air Force Academy. I met my husband when I was still in high school! Though we were only friends initially, that slowly morphed into a love that would span a marriage years later and two beautiful children I couldn’t imagine living life without.
Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
It is my goal to look for ways to serve my community. I have led the GivingTuesdayMilitary Scott AFB group as its lead ambassador for two years. Together, we have impacted our most vulnerable. We’ve done this by doing things like forming unique partnerships with a local business to raise thousands of dollars for a transitional living facility for families. I have led and organized multiple blood drives as well as co-led a Be the Match drive. Through effective leadership and relationship building, I helped coordinate a fundraiser for the St. Louis location of Veterans Community Project, a tiny home community for homeless veterans. Our efforts led to raising over $4,000. I’ve led yearly efforts to collect warm pajamas for the foster children of Illinois and ran drives collecting hats, gloves and scarves for local underprivileged school children. In 2021, I worked alongside Blue Star Families and USO Missouri to provide pantry boxes, food and presents for over 300 Scott AFB families.
Describe your involvement in the military community:
I work alongside command spouses to serve the local community, wherever we are stationed. Having the ability to live in all corners of this country has given me the opportunity to make a viable impact on those in need within my community. As a mother of special needs children, I use my voice to support other families faced with challenges.
Describe how you support your community:
It is my goal to stand in the gap for those in need. Here in the Scott AFB area this means serving our foster children, vulnerable families, homeless veterans and special needs children. I do this through GivingTuesdayMilitary and through my recently formed nonprofit, SPARK Adolescent Services. It is our goal to ensure every child, regardless of abilities, has a space at the table and a community surrounding them with support and resources.
What do you advocate for? Why?
I am passionate about serving those with disabilities, especially children and teens. As a mother of two children with special needs, it grew from a deep love and need to ensure they were receiving what they needed. This would lead to using my experiences and voice for other families. We need more inclusivity for our youth with special needs, as they are often forgotten in the service/resource world.
How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
Media appearances, speaking opportunities within my community and my social media, which has a following of over 90k.
What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year®
It is my fervent hope to show military spouses what is possible through advocacy and using your voice for good. Though I may be described as an introvert, I’ve never allowed it to stop me from doing the right thing and standing up when no one else would. That is the power of passion and purposeful living.
Despite having two children with special needs and supporting her spouse's demanding career as a pilot, Alicia has continually gone above and beyond for those in need. In 2021, her work was extraordinary!
- Started a nonprofit for youth
- Built and established blessing boxes throughout the county
- Organized drives for the homeless and foster children
- Set up numerous blood drives
.... and so much more!
- by Jessica Manfre