• Baylor law student, veteran, adoptive father honored as Pat Tillman Scholar

    Stephen Carl

    It takes a brave person to fly Army helicopters into battle zones in Afghanistan, landing amidst the fighting to evacuate injured soldiers who need treatment. It also takes a brave person to dedicate both their personal and professional lives to serving orphaned children, kids who need someone to fight for them.

    Baylor law student Stephen Carl is both those people — an Army veteran who sees a common conviction between his service in Afghanistan and his aspirations to serve children in the legal profession. That conviction: Leave no one behind.

    Last month, Carl was named a 2017 Pat Tillman Scholar, recognized for his service, leadership and potential. The foundation is named for the late Pat Tillman, who gave up a career in the NFL to serve in the Army Rangers in 2002; he was killed in service in 2004 in Afghanistan, but his legacy of selfless service lives on. Out of more than 2,000 applicants, only 60 are chosen as Tillman Scholars each year. For Carl, the award is an opportunity to advocate for orphaned children who have become his mission.

    After eight years in the Army — nine months of which were spent flying MEDEVAC helicopters in Afghanistan — Carl and his wife, Lindsey, wanted to fulfill a long-held desire to open their arms to other children in need. They eventually adopted three young sisters, adding them to their two biological children to complete their family of seven.

    Throughout the adoption process, Carl realized the positive influence an attorney could have in the life of an orphaned child. As he began to pursue a new career path in the legal field, Baylor Law School, with its commitment to service and yearly Adoption Day, was a natural fit.

    “The law profession is a call to serve… I’m stepping in with a desire to help, not knowing how to get to the end result,” Carl says. “I want to live a life that changes the world by making a difference that outlives me, doing that through helping other people.”

    Sic ’em, Stephen Carl!