Posts Tagged ‘Army dependent’

Allen_Eric 2012.

ThanksUSA is currently accepting scholarship applications for the 2013-2014 academic year. Over the past seven years, ThanksUSA has awarded over 2,800 scholarships (worth nearly $8.5 million) to deserving military spouses and dependent children. $3,000 American Airlines/ThanksUSA Scholarship recipient Eric Pierre Allen is an excellent representation of these scholars. The Army dependent’s unique combination of majors, combined with his giving spirit and drive to succeed, really make him stand out.


Eric’s father, First Sergeant Norman Allen, U.S. Army, has been serving our great nation for over twenty five years. Knowing life only as a military child, Eric travelled often and was exposed to a variety of cultures.

As a teen, Eric found himself enthralled with the vibrant graphics of Japanese animation. Though he enjoyed the visual styles of anime, he couldn’t fully understand the symbolism and cultural references. Soon, his quest to grasp the intricacies of anime led to a fascination with Japanese history and culture.

In high school, Eric had the opportunity to focus on his Japanese interests as a student of the Internal Baccalaureate Program. He explains, “I did my senior thesis paper on the Samurai Code of Bushido and how it affected the mentality of the Kamikaze pilots. This is when I gained a great passion for Japanese culture and language.”

When he entered the University of Texas at Austin to study accounting, Eric knew that he also wanted to continue his Japanese studies. During his freshman year, Eric attended a fair to learn about various campus student groups. Interested in joining an organization that would complement his business studies, Eric stopped by a particular group’s table only to find it unoccupied. The neighboring table happened to be hosted by the Asian Business Students Association. Eric struck up a conversation with ABSA’s Internal Vice President and accepted her enthusiastic invitation to join.

Now, nearly three years later, Eric is pursuing his Masters in Professional Accounting and B.A. in Japanese Language and Culture. He has become involved in many campus organizations including Student Government, Liberal Arts Council, Japanese Association, and Black Business Students Association. He is also a DJ and show host for the campus’s Chop Suey Radio and he has continued his involvement in the ABSA. In fact, Eric currently serves as the ABSA’s Internal Vice President – the same position of the officer who invited him to join during his freshman year.

Eric believes that all college students should seek out campus organizations and activities in order to make the most of their educational experience. He adds, “Through all of the organizations I have been involved with, I have gained valuable connections with people that will transcend college.”

As his junior year at UT Austin concludes, Eric is preparing for what may be his most memorable year yet. During the 2013-2014 academic year, Eric’s collegiate majors will culminate into an immersive learning experience with studies abroad in Osaka and Tokyo.

After completing his undergraduate degrees and earning his CPA, Eric plans to gain practical experience in the United States before pursuing an international career. Eventually, he hopes to earn his PhD in Japanese history and become a college professor.

Considering his academic achievements thus far, I’m sure Eric will accomplish every goal he sets for himself. As the 2012-2013 academic year concludes, I hope to bring you more highlights from our deserving scholars. Some may be wrapping up their first year of college, while others are graduating. If you find any of these ThanksUSA scholarship recipients as inspiring as I do, I encourage you to make your tax deductible donation today.

“All of my accomplishments so far have been because of generous people like you. Thank you again for your donation.” – Army dependent Eric Allen


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Stephanie Larumbe is a compassionate soul who is learning the necessary skills that will enable her to bring comfort and healing. A junior at New College of Florida, Stephanie is applying her $3,000 ESA Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship towards her biology and psychology studies with plans to continue on to medical school and eventually work in a hospital setting.

Combining the studies of biology and psychology allows Stephanie to explore the two sciences that interest her most. She describes her biology studies as a satisfying “hard facts” education whereas psychology challenges her intellectually. “Psychology is another world in itself. Especially the inner workings of the human mind and the vast differences in cognitive function and in conscience are incredibly fascinating to me,” explains Stephanie.

As Stephanie nears the end of her undergraduate studies, she is deciding which area of medicine she will focus on during her graduate and doctoral studies. Until recently, she was certain that she would specialize in pediatrics. Then she began an internship in the obstetrics and gynecological department of a children’s hospital in Germany. Stephanie says, “I am beginning to consider this to be another viable option. I think the birthing process is absolutely fascinating and I can definitely see myself working in this field.”

Stephanie’s academic record and personal empathy speak volumes about her commitment to helping others. While at New College of Florida, Stephanie volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and YREADS, a YMCA sponsored reading program for underprivileged children. Last summer, Stephanie traveled to Uganda for a Catholic mission to provide orphans with educational opportunities. While there, she worked directly with the residents and volunteered at the medical station. It is clear that no matter which specialty Stephanie chooses to pursue, she will surely make a wonderful physician.

It’s probably no surprise that much of Stephanie’s view of the world and desire to help others was instilled early on as an Army dependent. Stephanie explains, “Being a military brat, as we so fondly call ourselves, certainly has its ups and downs. As a military family, it is not uncommon to have to deal with everything from post-traumatic stress disorder in loved ones, to the loss of close family friends. But in my case, these challenges helped us grow closer as a family. If anything, living the life of a military brat has taught me adaptability and resiliency and has left me well prepared to face the world.”

ThanksUSA is proud to help Stephanie face her future. She reports that receiving the ESA Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship was especially significant this year because of unexpected financial hardships. Her grandmother was recently diagnosed with stage four cancer and the Larumbe family committed much of their finances to her care and treatment. Although Stephanie is employed as both a Resident Advisor and lifeguard, her income fell short of tuition. “This scholarship really came at an opportune moment and helped me not only be able to fund my tuition for the semester, but also relieved me in a way that I could spend less time working and more time focusing on my studies,” Stephanie explains.

The ThanksUSA team wishes Stephanie continued academic success and we hope to follow up on her education in the future. A reminder to all college-bound military dependents that ThanksUSA scholarship applications will be available online between April 1 and May 15, 2012. All potential applicants are encouraged to register for a reminder email and as always, every donation helps…Make your tax-deducible donation today!

We close this week’s Scholarship News with a word of thanks from Stephanie:

“I feel honored to have received this scholarship and would like to thank the ESA Foundation and ThanksUSA with all my heart for the help and opportunity they have given me! I am truly grateful for all they have done!”

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