Posts Tagged ‘Liberty University’

Hannah SolemWith a smile that radiates with positive energy, ThanksUSA scholarship recipient Hannah Solem can brighten any day. As a Speech Communications major at Liberty University, Hannah’s goal is to become the voice of advocacy for orphans.

Now in her junior year of studies, Hannah has received consecutive ThanksUSA scholarships totaling $9,000. This year, the Army dependent was awarded a $3,000 Jackson Casey Fund/ThanksUSA Scholarship. Since Hannah is responsible for financing her own education, she is especially grateful for the continued aid provided by ThanksUSA supporters.


“I am aware that much will be required of those who have been given much.  Having been entrusted with this scholarship, it is my ambition to use my gifts to give back to others.”

Hannah is certainly deserving of your support. She has an impeccable academic record and is eager to encourage others to commit their time to volunteerism. During the summer, Hannah works with high school aged volunteers at the Officers’ Christian Fellowship retreat, White Sulfur Springs Conference Center. During the academic year, she serves as a Student Leader for her residence hall where she leads group studies and offers one on one counseling to freshman students.

Not only have these roles provided guidance to others, they have also given Hannah valuable logistics and planning experience while allowing her to develop a comforting style of communication. She has such a sincere personality, that one instantly feels at ease speaking with her.

Hannah’s academic goals began to take root during a trip to China with Show Hope ministries. In 2008, she visited orphanages in Luoyang and Beijing where she cared for disabled orphans. The experience inspired her to use her talents and energy to help families navigate the adoption process. Hannah can see herself using her education and knowledge as a public relations specialist for adoption agencies. For now, she is concentrating on understanding the needs of children in orphan care and recently hosted a seminar on their nutritional needs.

When asked about her own family, Hannah praises her parents, Helen and LTC Greg Solem, USA, for being exceptional role models to herself and her four brothers. She describes her mother as a humble spirit and her father as a dedicated man. Hannah says that her family always puts the Lord first and feel blessed to have each other.

Ultimately, Hannah hopes that her education will lead to a career that will unite children with loving parents like her own. Whether you are able to celebrate in person or in spirit this year, ThanksUSA wishes our supporters and military families a very happy holiday season. We encourage you to continue your support of our mission by making your tax-deductible contribution today.

“Thank you for your contribution to military personnel and their families. Your generosity is sincerely appreciated. With a grateful heart, I will joyfully represent the Jackson Casey Fund and ThanksUSA scholarship.”

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Our sincerest thanks to Stephen Curry for always thinking of ThanksUSA and more importantly, ThanksUSA Scholarship recipients. When the Golden State Warriors played the San Antonio Spurs last week, Stephen invited local ThanksUSA scholar, Daniel Keef, and his family to attend. Although a mid-game ankle injury prevented Stephen from meeting with the Keefs after the game, Daniel reports that they had a great time and shared some awesome photos with us.

Daniel Keef with parents Gale and LTC Jeffrey T. Keef, USAF (RET)

Thanks again, Stephen, and thank you Keef family for sharing!

Gale, Jeffrey, & Daniel Keef

Jeffrey, Bethany, & Daniel Keef

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Abigail Halpin

I am always excited to introduce ThanksUSA scholarship recipients, especially those who have been awarded multiple scholarships. Since 2006, Abigail Halpin has received ThanksUSA scholarships totaling $9600. Most recently, this Air Force dependent was awarded a $3000 Col. Abraham M Ehrlich/ThanksUSA scholarship to complete her studies at Liberty University. As graduation approaches, Abigail shares her University experience, future plans, and thoughts on military life.

Majoring in Kinesiology with minors in both math and psychology, Abigail has taken full advantage of her educational opportunities. “Being awarded the ThanksUSA scholarship has provided great assistance in my academic success. Besides being a grader, which was a job I desired, I have not been forced to get a job at college, allowing me more time to focus on my school work without the added stress of paying for tuition. Without scholarship aid I would have faced a much more difficult college experience,” says Abigail.

With a kinesiology specialization in physical education and health, Abigail looks forward to student teaching this fall. She has always had an interest in health and fitness and is excited to share her enthusiasm with the next generation of students. Ultimately, Abigail plans to teach within the Department of Defense school system in which she was raised. “I would love to go back and teach the students who are in the same seats I sat in just years earlier,” she adds.

Abigail has excelled at her studies.  A member of the honors program since her freshman year, she has made the Dean’s list every semester. She is currently writing her Honors Thesis, but continues to make time for community and campus outreach. She has volunteered as a soccer coach with the Lynchburg Kids Sports League, been involved in dorm leadership, and has helped freshmen get acquainted with college life and grow in their understanding of the Bible.

In addition to her educational pursuits, Abigail is also planning her wedding.  The preparations for this joyous event are proving to be a challenge.  Abigail explains, “I rarely have the opportunity to see most of my closest friends. When we graduated from high school, our families moved all over the U.S.  It has been difficult planning my wedding without much assistance from my bridesmaids since they are so far away.  They help as much as they can, but it is different from what most people experience.”

Abigail also admits that she will miss many aspects of military life. She has become accustomed to things like Commissary & Exchange shopping, Tricare insurance, and being able to be seen at any military hospital. “I think I will notice even more of the benefits once I no longer have them,” adds Abigail.

Educational assistance is another benefit that many military dependents rely on. ThanksUSA is proud to have been a part of Abigail’s education for the past four years.  Please share this link with fellow military families to register for a reminder about ThanksUSA scholarship applications.  On behalf of ThanksUSA, I wish Abigail all the best with her upcoming nuptials and her teaching career…your students will be very fortunate to have such a devoted teacher!

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