Branch: Air Force
Duty Station: Fort Meade
Number of Deployments: 1
Number of PCS's: 3
Share your military spouse story:
Over the years I have wanted to be many different things: a teacher, a forensic analyst, a mother, a police officer, and in kindergarten, a farmer’s wife. One thing I never imagined being was a military spouse. Upon graduation from Iowa State University, I became a full-time police officer for a small town in Iowa while my husband completed his senior year at ISU. We had plans to stay in the area, both be officers, attend Cyclone football games on the weekends, and enjoy a “normal” life. Those plans were turned upside down in the best way possible when my husband decided to walk into an USAF recruiter’s office one day just before graduation. Neither one of us knew what life would look like from that point forward, but we both knew we would embrace it in every way. The one similarity between all the things I had always wanted to be, well besides maybe the farmer’s wife, was I yearned to make a positive difference in the lives of others and community around me. Little did I know, the role of military spouse was the pinnacle of possibilities to make my dream a reality. Our military life began with a PCS to Ramstein AB, Germany. My husband's unit was unique and a revolving door for TDY's. I jumped right in and began serving as one of the Key Spouses. This granted me a deeper connection to other unit families, service members, and my husband. I also connected with more of the community by volunteering with the Girl Scouts and as the tech support for the praise team at the Ramstein Chapel. This was our first chance to experience military friends becoming family. While staying close to base was great, we also embraced overseas life by traveling! Our first son was born at LRMC 8 months before we PCS'd back to the United States. When our plane landed in MD, the USA was his 12th country and the start of another new journey! Over our next PCS’s, I continued to find my footing and serve the community around me. I have found my dream come true title: Military Spouse!
Share an example of your leadership experience within the military community:
Thanks to the encouragement, support, and inspiration of my many mentors, I have been able to find my footing as a leader within the community. Leadership takes innovation, dedication, and perseverance. These skills were put to the test when I was elected and served as President of the Fort Meade Spouses’ Club during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the support of a dedicated board of volunteers, we maintained all operations virtually, with an occasional porch drop-off, including morale-boosting socials, business meetings, and committee meetings. Despite the challenges of only meeting online and hosting drive-and-go events, the creativity of the team I led allowed us to continue serving our community. Some of the programs included providing virtual learning tools to students, a drive-and-go Children’s Holiday Party, spouse appreciation events, and scholarships for both dependent spouses and children.
Describe your involvement in the military community:
Bungee jumping in New Zealand was incredible, but it doesn’t compare to the biggest jump of diving head first into life in our military community. Each new adventure has been exhilarating, terrifying, and worthwhile. I have had the honor of serving as Key Spouse for my husband’s units in Germany and Colorado and was recognized as Key Spouse of the Year at the Group level. I also have had the pleasure of being on the boards for Protestant Women of the Chapel, Thrift Shop, and multiple Spouses’ Clubs. I am currently serving on the Executive Board for the Fort Meade Spouses’ Club and the Post Thrift Shop Council. I believe the best way to enjoy our home is to be active from day one, including being connected with the local community. I am involved with rebuilding the PTA at my oldest son’s school to help provide the best opportunities for all students. At each new base, I strive to push myself to connect with others, encourage others to do the same, and serve those all around us.
Describe how you support your community:
Military spouse inclusion has changed a lot over the years and positive changes are continuing to take place. When I came to Fort Meade, MD, I joined the Enlisted Spouses’ Club (ESC). It was a group of individuals with a strong passion for service to their community and a strong family atmosphere. Discussion began about ways to grow the capabilities of the organization. As talks continued, a transition committee was formed under the guidance of the President of the ESC. I was asked to be part of this opportunity and promptly agreed. Through the works of this committee, I was able to be part of expanding the reach of the ESC to spouses of all ranks and spouses of civilian employees. Together, we grew from the Enlisted Spouses’ Club to the Fort Meade Spouses’ Club which continues to grow in numbers and service each year.
What do you advocate for? Why?
My passion is military scholarship programs! Providing opportunities to fellow military spouses and dependent children to continue their educations is why I fell in love with the missions of the spouses’ clubs at each base so quickly and felt pulled to serve as Scholarship Director where I was able to award $50,600 in scholarships to 14 military spouses and children. I was blessed by my parents to attend Iowa State University without having to worry about how the bills were being paid. I recognize this is not the case for everyone and love that we do our part to help ease a bit of that burden. My biggest passion is for scholarships awarded to those who are making positive influences within their local communities through volunteerism. As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” I truly believe that our scholarship awardees are helping to change our world for the better.
How have you spread the message of your platform/advocacy?
I love opportunities for in-person communication, especially when related to discussing military spouse and dependent children scholarships. I believe a personal touch can enhance community as much as it enhances communication. As Scholarship Director of the Fort Meade Enlisted Spouses’ Club, I networked with Garrison leadership and Exchange management to promote the scholarships we provide. I also met with PTA boards of high schools within the surrounding community so they had a chance to ask questions, receive flyers, and discuss the best ways to reach their students and encourage them to apply. To maintain attention to the scholarships available, consistent postings were made via social media and briefings were given during spouse gatherings. After awarding the scholarships at our public recognition ceremony, I was interviewed by the ESC newsletter director and The U.S. Army Fort Meade SoundOff newspaper.
What do you hope to accomplish with the AFI Military Spouse of the Year®
The future is created by and designed for those around us and the children within our communities. With the AFI Military Spouse of the Year title, I would love to continue spreading opportunities for those who will be our next doers, thinkers, and leaders. I believe I can always do more for others and be more for my community, and this title would be a valuable tool for that growth. The networking force of the AFI Military Spouse of the Year is invaluable and would provide a needed platform for expansion and connection of scholarship programs. I am inspired by each military spouse and each military child I meet and want to encourage them to continue their educations and experiences.
Stephanie Timm is an inspiration to leadership and volunteering in her community. She has been President of the Fort Meade Spouses Club and held several board positions within the club and the Post Thrift Shop. She has a passion for volunteering and leadership. She supports her community through volunteering with the Spouses Club, her spouse's command and her children's schools. She has endless volunteer hours supporting the military community and has worked to make the lives of military families easier. Stephanie is always there to support military spouses, families and service members and works to find the best and most efficient ways to do this. She is an advocate for volunteering and military families. I am so proud to be able to nominate Stephanie. She is deserving of this nomination and has made a huge impact on those around her.
- by Traci Ostrander
I nominate Stephanie because she is a rock star! She serves at the Fort Meade Spouses Club in Several ways currently as our parliamentarian. She is always available to lend a helping hand. She is so very creative. She recently reached received the lifetime award for volunteering over 4,000 hours with the FMSC! She also serves as Vice President of our Thrift Shop council and serving over 300 hours so far!
Let me talk to you also about her heart! Her caring heart she is also open to hearing you vent and showing kindness to you. This amazing woman walked a whole hospital with me up and down stairs and around a the whole hospital to help me give birth and I can never say thank you enough for that! She loves to serve people and help any way she can for Giving Tuesday she help me with our campaign to write kindness notes to our local bus drivers in the community! She is a devoted mom and a wonderful spouse! She is a great representative for Fort Meade!
- by Elizabeth Ellie Batista
I am the current president of the Ft Meade Spouses' Club and within our organization I have seen Stephanie supporting and develop multiple military spouse programs that have served the Meade community greatly. One of them is our Children's Holiday Party, that celebrated 600 kids in attendance in a drive and go event. She transformed all our in person programs so our community and members would have some type of normalcy during the pandemic. Stephanie recently received the USA Presidential Service LIFETIME award, only given to individuals who volunteered at least 4000 hours, at this point she has already exceeded that number performing numerous projects and dedicating herself to our fellow military spouses. She also finds time to volunteer at church, PTA and wherever she is needed. She literally runs to offer help. This community is a better place having her passion, initiative and values. I am not only fortunate to be able to work with her, I am beyond blessed to do life with her.
- by Mavi Conner