Erika and Roger Greaves know the meaning of sacrifice. Born in Germany after World War II, Erika’s village had been torn apart by the war. She overcame these difficult circumstances and earned her college degree, then emigrated to the United States. Roger faced his own challenges growing up in south Los Angeles; he graduated from Compton High School. He went on to join the United States Air Force before returning to Los Angeles. Roger’s military service instilled strong values in him, like responsibility and commitment, qualities Erika appreciated. She and Roger met while working for Blue Cross of Southern California, and the couple were married in 1977. They committed to make giving back to their community a central theme of their lives together.
In Los Angeles, Erika started a Boys and Girls Club, founded HealthNet’s Adopt-A-School program, and was selected as Woman of the Year in 1982 by the Woodland Hills Chamber of Commerce. The couple were heavily involved in the March of Dimes for many years and ran the HealthNet Celebration of Children program which provided special holiday events for underserved communities across the country for twenty-four years. Supporting children in need remains a hallmark of Erika and Roger’s work in the community.
After having fulfilling careers of their own, Erika and Roger believe it is their duty to create opportunities for young people, especially first responders, servicemen and their children. “[We] want everyone to have the future that we’ve had,” Roger explains. For over twenty years, the Greaves have provided opportunities to students in need, giving more than two million dollars in scholarship support. Scholarship recipients study science, technology, engineering, economics, and math and often go on to become nurses or doctors or serve in the military themselves. The couple stay connected with the students they empower — today, one is their dentist!
Now residing in Arizona, Erika and Roger continue to make a difference in their community. In May, they will establish the Erika & Roger Greaves Youth Angels Foundation Endowed Scholarship at the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation and will be honored with the Service Above Self award at the 11th Annual Arizona Awards Campaign and Celebratory Ball. When asked about their support for children of Marines, the couple said, “Marine values are the same values we have, and Marines pass those values on to their children.” They describe themselves as a military-oriented family and understand firsthand the sacrifices both military members and their families make for the Nation. Thanks to Erika and Roger’s dedication to education, children of Marines and Navy Corpsmen will be able to pursue their educational dreams now and in the future.
Join us as we honor Erika, Roger, and our Arizona Marines and scholars at the 11th Annual Arizona Awards Campaign and Celebratory Ball, taking place on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge. Learn more here: https://www.mcsf.org/event/arizona-campaign/.