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Posts Tagged ‘Army’

 

In the past two years, Army dependent Devon Cooley has received $6,000 in ThanksUSA Scholarships, sponsored by Goldman Sachs Gives and LM&O Advertising. On Friday, May 4th, Devon graduated from the Michigan State University College of Communication Arts and Sciences with High Honors and was recognized for having the highest GPA in her degree program.

Devon is looking forward to beginning her training with Teach For America in Atlanta, GA. This Fall, she will begin her journey as a Secondary English teacher in the Greater New Orleans, LA. Devon’s future plans include graduate school and traveling. Devon was featured in a Scholarship News blog earlier this Spring and you can read more about her plans and great advice to new undergrads here. The ThanksUSA team congratulates Devon on her academic accomplishments and we wish her all the best with her teaching career!

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The ThanksUSA team congratulates Army dependent and ThanksUSA scholarship recipient, Nicole Cook, on her recent graduation from Stevenson Unviersity! The daughter of Sergeant 1st Class, David Cook, U.S. Army (Ret), Nicole has received a total of $9,000 in Folds of Honor Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarships to help fund her elementary education studies. Nicole is eager to begin her career as a teacher and we’re happy to report that she will be joining the faculty of Carroll County Public Schools.

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Nicole’s name may be familiar to ThanksUSA supporters because of her assistance with ThanksUSA outreach events, receptions, and fundraisers. Most recently, she represented ThanksUSA scholarship recipients at the 5th annual ThanksUSA Golf Tournament at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club. Prior to the event, Nicole appeared with ThanksUSA Chairman and CEO, Bob Okun, on Let’s Talk Live to speak about ThanksUSA’s mission and the golf fundraiser.

Please join us in wishing Nicole and all recent graduates well with their budding careers or continued educational journeys…our outstanding scholars deserve our support and we hope to bring you more highlights from the Class of 2012!

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Our congratulations to Army dependent and ThanksUSA scholar, Christine Nussio, on earning her B.A. History degree from Christendom College! Since beginning her studies in 2008, Christine received $9,000 in ThanksUSA Scholarships, a portion of which were sponsored by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and ESA Foundation.

Though he is currently serving in Afghanistan, Christine’s father, Colonel Rick Nussio, U.S. Army, wanted Christine to know that he’d always be there for her. He sent her a photo of himself, she says, “In case I needed him.” As her name was announced, Christine proudly walked across the stage, photo in hand.

Christine will be spending the summer with her mother and five sisters anxiously waiting,  “to welcome home our hero from this year-long tour in July.” Next, she will begin preparations for graduate school. Christine will be attending Catholic University of America to earn her Master’s degree in Secondary Education, with a concentration in Social Studies.

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She explains, “This is in preparation for a career teaching history at the high school level. Though it took some time to discover, I realized that teaching high school history was the perfect way to combine my love for history and desire to spend my life helping form and educate the youth of tomorrow. My experiences as an apprentice teacher as part of Christendom College’s Teaching Practicum made me more eager than ever to begin this work. Participation in this program was just one of the many gifts I received while at Christendom, and I must extend my heartfelt thanks to ThanksUSA for helping to make this possible.”

She continues, “Without you I could never have accomplished all that I did in college: leadership and volunteer experience, friendships with peers and professors, rewarding studies, a Summa Cum Laude diploma, a semester study abroad, and formative opportunities preparing me for the career path of my choice. Thank you!”

ThanksUSA is honored to have been a part of Christine’s undergraduate experience. We have watched her grow from an eager high school senior to a confident scholar ready to educate and inspire the next generation. Congratulations, again, Christine!

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For Army dependent Devon Cooley, “It feels like only yesterday when I walked across the stage to receive my high school diploma.” Now, only weeks away from graduating from Michigan State University, Devon is busy preparing to be a Corps Member of Teach for America in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Throughout Devon’s undergraduate studies, she has received $6,000 in ThanksUSA Scholarships including a $3,000 LM&O Advertising/ThanksUSA Scholarship for her final year. Devon will graduate from MSU with high honors, earning her B.A. in Advertising with a minor in Women’s Studies.

Devon explains that she was initially attracted to the field of advertising “because of its unique combination of psychology, creativity, and media.” Along the way, however, Devon’s minor helped shift her career focus. “I have decided to pursue a career pathway that strives to correct the pressing social issues of contemporary society. My minor has helped me strengthen my understanding of the intersectionality of the many different types of disadvantages faced by citizens across the country and throughout the world,” she says.

Recognizing inequity in education inspired Devon to apply for her position with Teach for America. She explains, “Everyone deserves the opportunities that a quality education can provide. I’m looking forward to making a difference in the classrooms as a Secondary English teacher.”

Devon also plans to pursue graduate school in the future, but has some sound advice for potential and current undergrads saying, “I recommend for all undergraduate students to dive into campus life! They need to try new things and not be afraid of a busy schedule. It is incredible how fast my college experience has gone by… I took advantage of as many opportunities for involvement as I could, which has enabled me to make the most of my time at MSU. I have met several new people, developed my resume, and discovered new interests through my participation.”

Even with her busy campus schedule, Devon appreciates the importance of making time for her family. She explains, “My father has been stationed across the country or in the Middle East for the majority of his service. Even now, the closest to my family as he has ever been, he is separated by a six or seven hour drive. I have learned to perfect the balance of time that I devote to my friends, my studies, and my relatives. This hasn’t always been easy as a college student, but it has certainly helped me mature into an adult with a healthy respect for family matters. Now, when my family is reunited, everyone understands how special it is to have one another.”

Devon’s family is surely beaming with pride as they prepare to celebrate her graduation! The ThanksUSA team is honored to have been a part of Devon’s undergraduate studies and we look forward to updates from her Teach for America experience. We remind all readers that scholarship applications for the 2012-2013 academic year are being accepted through May 15, 2012 and complete details can be found here. We close this week’s Scholarship News with some words of thanks from Devon:

The financial assistance that I have received from LM&O Advertising and ThanksUSA has been invaluable to my education. Financing college has become increasingly difficult; yet the importance of obtaining a college degree has also become increasingly important. Without the help of ThanksUSA scholarships, I would not have been able to have such an incredible experience at MSU. I am grateful to have had the privilege of achieving a minor in addition to my major and to have experienced studying abroad.

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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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In the spring of 2010, Amanda Blount was a young, expectant, Army wife. Her husband, Army Specialist William Anthony Blount, had secured mid-term R&R so he could witness the birth of his daughter. Tragically, on April 7, Specialist Blount was killed in Mosul, Iraq, when his vehicle was attacked with an IED. He died one month shy of Avery Elizabeth Blount’s birth.

Amanda & Avery Elizabeth Blount

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With the loving support of her family, Amanda Blount is pressing forward. As an Army widow and single parent, she decided to pursue her education to ensure a better future for Avery Elizabeth. With the financial assistance of a $3000 Folds of Honor Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship, Amanda is a freshman in the Physical Therapy Assistant Program at Pearl River Community College.

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Born and raised in Hattiesburg, MS, Amanda says that she has always wanted to give back to her supportive community. Her mother, a nurse, encouraged her to explore areas of study within the medical field and Amanda was soon drawn to the Physical Therapist Assistant Program.

“I was captivated by the structures of the body and its ability to recover from disease and injury,” says Amanda. She also explained the mental aspect of physical therapy adding, “Not only does physical therapy help a patient return to previous activity levels, it provides reassurance and the motivation necessary for patients to reach their goals.”

Amanda has excelled academically and plans to continue her education and earn her undergraduate business degree. Describing herself as detail oriented and business-minded, Amanda’s end goal is to manage her own physical therapy office. But for right now, Amanda is focused on her studies and providing the best life possible for her daughter, Avery Elizabeth.

Education has become such a driving force in Amanda’s life that she helped establish the SPC William Anthony Blount Memorial Scholarship at his alma mater, Petal High School. Each year, teachers at Petal High School nominate a senior who demonstrates academic and civic excellence. Amanda explained that the scholarship recipient is always kind, shows eagerness to help others, and is never boastful…qualities that her own humble hero possessed.

In Memory of Specialist William Anthony Blount, United States Army

ThanksUSA is honored to be a part of Amanda’s academic journey and though she has been through much, Amanda says, “I am quite determined. Despite my hardships, I have to do what my husband would want me to do, ‘keep my chin up.’ It’s not easy most of the time, but I have our daughter to motivate me, to give me a reason to keep pushing and make me smile.”

Are you a military spouse considering pursuing your degree? We hope that Amanda’s story has inspired and motivated you! ThanksUSA Scholarship applications are accepted every year from April 1 through May 15 and we encourage you to register for a reminder. We close this week’s Scholarship News blog with a message for the Folds of Honor Foundation from Amanda:

“Thank you for choosing me as a recipient of the Folds of Honor Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship. It makes a huge difference to me as I study to become a physical therapist assistant. Thank you for being mindful of those who have served their country. My husband and our family have made the ultimate sacrifice. Again, thank you!”

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Kyle Werstein wants to use his education to inspire others to take action. The recipient of a $3000 ESA foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship, Kyle is currently in his sophomore year of Graphic Design studies at Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Kyle Werstein with his parents, Patricia and Timothy

Kyle describes graphic design as a means for “creating timeless communication that can be applied across a variety of mediums.”  He points out that as an increasingly paperless society, “It’s an exciting time to be a designer and a communicator. We have the unique opportunity to attempt to bring hundreds of years of tradition designing on paper into the digital age.”

Kyle has already demonstrated his talent and is beginning to gain recognition in his field. Below is a recent CD cover that he designed for Minneapolis jazz artist, Cory Wong.

design by Kyle Werstein

Like most artists, Kyle’s interests are not limited to his field of study. He enjoys exploring other graphic-related arts such as painting and screen printing, while expressing his interests in the performing arts through writing and performing with a Minneapolis rock band.

When Kyle completes his undergraduate studies, he plans to continue his education by earning his masters and doctorate degrees. “I hope to eventually work my way into the field of nonprofits and community involvement, using my skills to generate awareness and involvement in great issues affecting us today,” says Kyle.

He has already demonstrated his commitment to community outreach at the campus level. As part of an internship, Kyle created a social media campaign for a non-profit Equine Therapy center. He also co-founded MCAD’s bike club which subsidizes inexpensive bicycle helmets for students and he creates communications to raise scholarship funds through the alumni relations department.

Kyle clearly demonstrates the “pay it forward” concept that ThanksUSA supporters understand so well. He notes that his military upbringing shaped him into the respectful and civic-minded young man that he is today.

Kyle’s father, Sergeant First Class Timothy Werstein, U.S. Army (Ret), served our country for nearly 25 years. Kyle’s pride shines through as he reflects on his father’s career saying, “He’s served in Bosnia, Kosovo, Bulgaria and Qatar and left the service with a number of commendations and accolades. If anything, my dad provided me with a strong role model and someone to look up to. His career compounded his own strong work ethic, which he in turn passed on to me. Being a military child has not been something I have ever taken for granted. It’s taught me respect for civics and my country, instilled in me a worldview that far surpasses most people my age and showed me the value of sacrifice. I’m grateful every day for the experience I have had.”

Now, as a young adult, Kyle is applying his strong work ethic to his collegiate pursuits. ThanksUSA is proud to be a part of Kyle’s educational journey and we thank him for sharing with us. We close this week’s feature with a message of gratitude from Kyle:

“Receiving the $3000 ESA Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship has provided me with a great sense of financial security. Paying for college is an extremely stressful endeavor, and your generous sponsorship has awarded me with an indescribable peace of mind. Thank you for giving an opportunity to the children of military families, as well, and recognizing the unique sacrifices we, as “Brats,” make every day. From the bottom of mine and my family’s heart, thank you.”

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