Posts Tagged ‘Athletic Training’

Craig ThurberIf you were to ask Craig Thurber about his lifelong goal, he may simply answer, “Be better.” With the assistance of a $3,000 Lockheed Martin/ThanksUSA scholarship, the Army National Guard dependent is attending Southwestern College where he is pushing himself to be a better student, a better athlete, and an all-around better person.

A natural athlete, Craig is pursuing a degree in Athletic Training. “I intend to utilize this degree and work as an Athletic Trainer while going to Physical Therapy school. I enjoy helping others and am excited to work in a health care/sports environment.” To compliment his studies, Craig is actively involved with various sports teams. He’s a linebacker for the Southwestern Moundbuilders and will play intramural basketball in the offseason.


Craig with his biggest fans–his sisters!

Though sports and education are important to Craig, family is paramount. In 2006, Craig’s stepfather, MSG Bernard Deghand, was killed in the line of duty while serving in Afghanistan. Only ten years old at the time, Craig challenged himself to be a father figure to his youngest sister. He developed a drive to succeed and lead by example, a drive to “be better.”

Craig mentions that he would want his stepfather to be proud of the man he is becoming. “I honor his memory by kneeling and talking to him on the football field right before each game. I also have a photo of him in my dorm room. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.”

There is no doubt that MSG Deghand would be proud of Craig. He is succeeding as a scholar, an athlete, and a positive role model to his sister and fellow athletes. ThanksUSA is honored to award scholarships to deserving students like Craig Thurber.

“Thank you very much for supporting me and helping me to be better.” — Craig Thurber, Southwestern College class of 2017


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Jordan Roberts is passionate about sports and wants to help professional athletes. Currently in her sophomore year at the University of Florida, Jordan has received a $3000 ESA Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship to assist her with her athletic training studies. This week, Jordan explains how a devastating injury inspired her college major.

During her freshman year of high school, Jordan suffered an ACL tear that brought her soccer season to a sudden halt. She recalls, “In the beginning, I only remember feeling defeated and angry as I sat the bench and slowly pushed through recovery. I vividly remember squeezing my eyes shut and clenching my fists as the therapists pressured my leg to work and gain full mobility. Despite the pain and frustration, I knew I had to persevere and push through all the obstacles if I ever wanted to play soccer again. September 11, 2007, exactly one hundred and eighty-eight days after my surgery. It was the day that I stepped back on the soccer field, not only physically stronger but mentally stronger as well. In that period of time, I learned that determination and passion are qualities about me that I will carry throughout the rest of my life.”

Upon earning her BS in Athletic Training, Jordan hopes to work with a collegiate or professional soccer team. As a pre-athletic training student, Jordan is completing her observational studies with the University of Florida’s women’s soccer team. “I love all sports but working with soccer as my career would be absolutely perfect,” adds Jordan.

Like all ThanksUSA scholars, Jordan is a military dependent. Her father, SMSGT Kevin Roberts, USAF (RET), dedicated nearly 25 years to the United States Air Force. Jordan reflects on her military upbringing saying, “Although I was extremely lucky and got to stay in one location for pretty much all of my school years, there were tough moments. When my dad was deployed, my mom (Geri) and I had to do things alone, and I learned to appreciate everything that I have so much. My mom was strong during everything and knowing my dad was defending our country made me so proud to have such wonderful parents.”

The ThanksUSA team extends our appreciation to Jordan’s family and all of the military families who support our nation. We will be celebrating military families during a ThanksUSA Benefit Concert on November 14th at DAR Constitution Hall. Military personnel and family members who are interested in attending can request tickets through the USO Programs Ticketline. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities for this event, please email sherrykoch@thanksusa.org.

We wrap up this week’s Scholarship News with a message of thanks from Jordan to the ESA Foundation and all individuals who support ThanksUSA:

“I am so grateful to have this opportunity and cannot thank you enough for helping me pursue my dream of becoming an athletic trainer. I just want to say again how much I appreciate this scholarship. It was such a blessing!”

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