Posts Tagged ‘dependent’

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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Travis Clark


Travis Clark has ambitions of appearing in a Broadway musical or a major motion pictures. This past week, with the assistance of a $3000 Folds of Honor/ThanksUSA Scholarship, Travis enthusiastically began his theatre studies at Augustana College.

The son of MSGT Michael Clark (USAF, RET) and Karline Clark, Travis had a typical military childhood including moves between duty stations. Travis says, “Military children quickly realize that whether they want to or not, they will have to meet, interact, and depend on new people in new places.” As an adult, Travis looks back at military life and appreciates all of the once “new people” who became close friends.



Travis first became interested in theatre during middle school. Prompted by encouragement from his parents, Travis decided to join the drama club of his middle school. He quickly found friends with similar interests and loved learning how to assemble sets, direct lighting, and supervise wardrobe. When Travis began acting, his behind-the-scenes knowledge served him well.

Travis notes that acting can be a genuine confidence booster. Of course he likes the recognition he receives from a good performance, but says that the recognition is also humbling. He feels that his theatre background has given him a better grasp of emotions which allows him to make more genuine connections with people.

In addition to his acting talents, Travis is also an accomplished musician and singer and plans to carry a minor in music. He envisions a career beginning with community theatres and traveling bands or choirs and evolving from there. Though his ultimate career goal is that of a professional actor, he is also realistic and knows that a “fall-back” career is a necessity of the industry. Influenced primarily by his high school drama teacher, Travis is considering a double major in education and says that he can definitely see himself as a drama teacher in the future.

If he adds an education major to his undergraduate studies, Travis doesn’t have far to look for guidance. His mother, Karline, received a $4400 ThanksUSA Scholarship in 2006 to earn her teaching credentials from Black Hills State University. For the past five years, Karline has taught business, computer technology, and yearbook classes at Douglas High School and recently earned her graduate degree in education.

The ThanksUSA team wishes both Travis and Karline continued success and we leave readers with messages from each:

“Thanks USA has helped me and my family with dreams of continuing our education and pursing our dreams. Thank you so much for all of your support.”  – Karline Clark

“I just want to say how great it is for ThanksUSA and Folds of Honor to help both my mother and me with our financial concerns and to help us attain a higher knowledge and learning experience. Thanks ThanksUSA, and Thanks Folds of Honor.”  Travis Clark

Travis and Karline Clark

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Applications for the 2011 ThanksUSA Scholarship Program Now Open!

Samuel McKearn - future ThanksUSA Scholarship applicant

We encourage all military dependent children and spouses to apply for the 2011/2012 ThanksUSA Scholarship Program. All potential applicants should start at our overview page to verify eligibility and the application process. Of note this year:

Kaplan University is proud to offer a full undergraduate scholarship through ThanksUSA for an eligible military spouse. In addition, Educational Support Scholarships, which provide for reduced tuition of up to 51 percent, are also available to eligible military spouses. Click here for complete details including eligibility and other terms and conditions.

Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation and NVCC‘s Student Financial Aid Office are joining ThanksUSA once again this year to offer the Linda J. Romeo/ThanksUSA scholarship. This $4,000 scholarship will be awarded to a female military spouse residing in the National Capital Region attending Northern Virginia Community College. Interested applicants must first submit a completed ThanksUSA scholarship application. If approved for ThanksUSA scholarship funds, applicants will be asked to complete a supplemental NVCC scholarship application.

So, what’s with the adorable baby picture? Mainly, to get your attention…this is Samuel McKearn, a future ThanksUSA scholarship applicant. His mother, Christie, received a $3000 ThanksUSA Scholarship for the 2010/2011 academic year and she is in the process of applying for next year’s scholarship. Remember, you must apply for a ThanksUSA Scholarship every year. before you “lock and submit” your application, please review it carefully and make sure that all of your required information and documentation is included and uploaded. All applications must be submitted by May 15th.

If you have any questions about the application process or would like to share the press release with your command, family service group, spouses club, etc, please contact me at sherrykoch@thanksusa.org.

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