For 2019 Mission Give Back Scholarship winner, it’s full speed ahead

For 2019 Mission Give Back Scholarship winner, it’s full speed ahead

Virginia Beach’s Holly Hertzog thrives as she studies for a nursing career at the University of Virginia

Virginia Beach’s Holly Hertzog was exactly the kind of student leader Atlantic Diving Supply had in mind when we began the Mission Give Back Scholarship Program.

So, with April being the Month of the Military Child, it seemed like a great time to check back in with Holly and see how the 2019 scholarship winner was doing. The answer: Fantastic.

Since 2019, Holly has been studying nursing at the University of Virginia -- one of the nation’s top nursing schools -- and loving every minute.

“I love the UVa campus, the challenging academics, the ‘work hard-play hard’ environment, the social events, the sports -- everything about it,” she said. “I didn’t think I’d get into UVa, and I was shocked when I did. It’s been a great experience.”

No one at Atlantic Diving Supply was shocked. Holly’s application to the Mission Give Back Scholarship Program personified the kind of student leader we imagined supporting when the program began.

At Kellam High School, Holly was a member of The National Honor Society and Team Captain of the Varsity Swim & Dive Team. She was an avid volunteer with Operation Smile and CHKD, and a member of the school’s Leadership Workshop and Financial Investment Club. During summer breaks, she worked as a Virginia Beach Lifeguard, where she enjoyed being a trusted person on the beach and helping to “very quickly” help people when they needed it most.

A nursing career seemed to be the perfect fit.

The Mission GiveBack Scholarship Holly won is awarded annually to dependents of U.S. Military, law enforcement and first responders who have fallen, been injured, or listed as Missing in Action in the line of service.

Holly’s father, Master Chief Edward Joseph Hertzog III, was a proud US Navy SEAL who served the nation for 25 years. He was a member of the Navy Parachute Team -- The Leap Frogs -- and the leading Petty Officer of a SEAL platoon deployed to Afghanistan. He spent five years as an Assault Team Member of SEAL Team Six and was awarded five Bronze Stars for heroic action in combat.

Holly said studying at UVa gives her the best of two worlds: The opportunity to stay close to her Mom, and the chance to study at one of the nation’s top nursing schools.

The scholarship award definitely made the transition to college easier, she said. So has her family’s proud military background. Holly said moving to Virginia from California as a child prepared her for life in another place, meeting other people and going to another school.

“It made everything less scary,” she said.

Applications are now being accepted for next year’s scholarship program. Click here for details.