Jameson Lopez is one of the veterans who has benefited from the Pat Tillman Foundation and Pat's Run. Tillman Scholars are veterans who have put their lives on the line and are getting support to pursue higher education.
Native Americans have a strong warrior tradition, and that's exactly why Lopez followed in his family's footsteps. He comes from a long line of veterans.
Lopez joined the Army, then went through boot camp and Officer Candidate School.
Over the course of his Army career he led more than 300 missions to help train Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers to fight for themselves.
"It was very interesting, just really trying to improve the patrolling capabilities of Iraqi and Kurdish security forces, but almost trying to bridge the cultural barriers between all three groups -- my troops as well as the Iraqi and the Kurds living with us," said Lopez.
When his military service ended, it was time for family and college, which meant a Ph.D. in educational policy and evaluation.
"It's very humbling and it's an honor to be a Tillman scholar," Lopez said. "Also, it's a little bit of pressure knowing how this is an investment in Tillman scholars. They're making an investment in your life, so in some sense you have to be a good return on that investment."
And Lopez is making good on that investment, by using his experience and education to help his people.
"Native Americans, we've historically performed low on standardized tests. When you look at reservation schools, some are underfunded, some just don't have the teachers needed," Lopez said.
Lopez is working to change that one student at a time.