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Posts Tagged ‘Jennifer Benecke’

This past Wednesday, friends and supporters of ThanksUSA gathered in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the legacy of the late Senator Ted Stevens while raising funds to support the second year of Senator Ted Stevens Memorial Scholarships to be awarded through ThanksUSA.

The Honorable Ted Stevens was the U.S. Senator from Alaska and was the longest-serving Republican in the United States Senate. He served continuously from 1968 to 2009. Senator Stevens enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1943 and served in the China-Burma-India Theater with the Fourteenth Air Force Transport Section and received the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was elected to the Alaska House of Representatives in 1964, and became House majority leader in his second term. In 1968, he was appointed U.S. Senator to Alaska after the death of Senator Bob Bartlett. He held many leadership roles in the Senate, including Assistant Republican Leader (Whip) from 1977 to 1985, and Senate President Pro Tempore in 2003, and chaired many committees in his senatorial career, including Appropriations and Commerce.

Staffer for Congressman Young, Catherine Stevens, Sid Ashworth of Northrup Grumman, Maj Gen Pete Proctor, USA (Ret)

We extend our warmest appreciation to Mrs. Catherine Stevens, widow of the late senator, for joining active and retired military personnel, members of Congress, and ThanksUSA team members for this special fundraising event.

ThanksUSA Scholarship recipient, Jennifer Benecke, attended with her husband, Chief Petty Officer George Benecke, U.S. Navy, and thanked those in attendance for their continued support of ThanksUSA. In a few months, Jennifer will graduate from the University of Maryland: University College with a B.S. in Psychology. She is currently making plans to attend graduate and, eventually, hopes to work as a counselor to military veterans.

Jennifer and George Benecke with ThanksUSA's Michele Stork

Thanks to the generosity of ThanksUSA sponsors such as EADS and Lockheed Martin, ThanksUSA will once again honor the memory of Senator Stevens by awarding 40 Senator Ted Stevens Memorial Scholarships, valued at $3,000 each, to the children and spouses of U.S. military personnel pursuing post-secondary school education.

Senator Ted Stevens Memorial Scholarships for the 2012-2013 academic year are sponsored by EADS, Lockheed Martin, Rumsfeld Foundation, Altria, Northrup Grumman, TimeWarner, Express Scripts, General Dynamics, GE, Association of the United States Army, and Boeing.

Please visit the ThanksUSA Facebook page to view additional photos from the luncheon.

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Since graduating from High School, Jennifer Benecke knew that she wanted to pursue an undergraduate degree. Though her academic journey may have been delayed, Jennifer is currently in her final year of studies at the University of Maryland. This busy mother, military spouse, full-time student, and volunteer has been awarded a $3000 Sam V. Suplizio/ThanksUSA Scholarship to complete her BS in Psychology.

Jennifer and Dominick Benecke

When Jennifer was setting academic and career goals, she really wanted to be a Physician’s Assistant. At the time, she and husband, Chief Petty Officer George Benecke, U.S. Navy, were stationed in Hawaii and there were no PA programs of study. Jennifer decided to take the pre-requisite coursework that could later be applied to a PA degree. One of those courses, psychology, immediately piqued her interest and observations in her daily life inspired her to pursue psychology as a major.

Jennifer and her son, Dominick, would ride the city bus and one of the designated stops was the VA hospital. Instead of seeing proud men and women who should be treated with honor and respect, Jennifer witnessed ill-treatment and disregard.

Both she and George have very clear values and always try to give back to their community and help others. She realized that if she shifted her educational focus to psychology, she could pursue a career that would specifically allow her to assist military veterans.

Jennifer lost her father earlier this year and knows that he would be especially proud of the career path she has set for herself. “Earning this degree and giving back to the military community honors my father’s own service to the US Navy…some of the happiest times in his life,” she adds.

If you congratulate Jennifer on her academic accomplishments, she will be quick to credit the loving support of her husband. She says that he “really stepped up” with encouragement and extra household chores. They both learned to prioritize and not over-schedule. “It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you try to do everything. Time management is critical”

The family honed their time management skills to ensure that she could attend school full-time. She’s careful to match her academic schedule with her son’s elementary school schedule and makes sure that he sees her completing homework. “It’s so important to set educational standards and seeing my planning and dedication makes him strive to be the best.”

The ThanksUSA team wishes Jennifer continued academic success. We’re comforted knowing that our deserving American Veterans will have such a caring counselor.

“This scholarship is so special to me because it is the final piece to completing a dream I have had since graduating high school. Without this scholarship I would not have had the means to finish the last year of my bachelors degree.”  – Jennifer Benecke

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