TAPS Launches 'College Experience' Program for Teenage Children of America's Fallen Military Heroes 

Survivor Teens Gather in D.C. to Learn About Higher Education Options, Financial Aid and Benefits for Surviving Military Children


ARLINGTON, Va. –- The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) has launched a new four-day, college preparatory retreat program dedicated to helping surviving military children and their guardians explore options for higher education and begin the process of applying to colleges. The new program builds on the organization's efforts to fill the gap when one parent is no longer present to help guide their child's future.

The first TAPS College Experience will take place in the Washington, D.C. area from July 9 through July 12. Over four days, high school children of fallen military service members and their guardians will attend workshops to discuss Veteran Administration education benefits, FAFSA scholarships and how to make appropriate college selection choices.  They will be coached on dressing for success to learn how to properly dress for interviews and internships. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to meet campus officials and admission counselors on tours of Georgetown University, The University of Maryland and the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.   

“We developed this program at TAPS to work closely with our families as they navigate college choices and complicated benefit information.  Our surviving military children are extraordinary young adults who have sacrificed so much for our country, said Bonnie Carroll, President and Founder of TAPS. “We owe it to them to help prepare them as best we can for a successful future, which often begins with decisions about higher education. They are wonderful examples of resilience who will go on to do great things for our country.” 

On the closing day of the TAPS College Experience participants will tour the United States Capitol and attend a reception hosted by the U.S. Congress. Students will network with congressional staffers and observe a congressional roundtable addressing the impact of Forever G.I. Bill, to mark the one-year anniversary of the passage of the monumental legislation.


  • Bonnie Carroll, TAPS President and Founder   
  • Ashlynne Haycock, TAPS Deputy Director, Policy and Legislation; surviving daughter of Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Haycock and Air Force Senior Airman Nichole Haycock


  • Malia and C.L. Fry of Texas, surviving spouse and son of Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. John Fry, namesake of the Fry Scholarship
  • Monica and Dominic Jaikaran of California, surviving spouse and son of Navy MA1 Dameshyar Jaikaran

To arrange coverage or interviews please contact Rita Barry-Corke, TAPS Vice President of Media Relations at rita@taps.org or via phone at (202) 588-8722 (TAPS). 

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America's fallen military heroes and has offered support to more than 80,000 surviving family members of our fallen military and their caregivers since 1994. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, grief seminars and retreats for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, case work assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups and a 24/7 resource and information helpline for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. For more information go to www.taps.org or call the toll-free TAPS resource and information helpline at 1.800. 959.TAPS (8277). 

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