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Posts Tagged ‘military’

Navy dependent Sarah Berg was awarded a $3,000 Stephen Curry/ThanksUSA scholarship for her first year of studies at the University of California: Davis. Although Sarah intends to major in Animal Biology, she will explore a variety of inter-related studies that will prepare her for future humanitarian endeavors.

“My goal in life is to go to third world countries and establish systems customized to the environment of the country so that the people can use aquaculture, the raising of aquatic animals for food, and agriculture in order to establish a sustainable source of nutrition. While feeding peoples’ stomachs, I also intend to nourish their souls through sharing with them the hope I have in the Lord.”

Sarah Berg

Sarah Berg petting one of the UC Davis milk cows that live behind her dorm. Sarah explained that this gentle Jersey was on a 60-day rotation of not producing milk.

Sarah Berg petting one of the UC Davis milk cows that live behind her dorm. Sarah explained that this gentle Jersey was on a 60-day rotation of not producing milk.
When she arrived on campus, Sarah began filling her free time by joining organizations that compliment her studies while helping the local community and campus. She joined the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, the Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority, and became an Aggie Ambassador.

As an Aggie Ambassador, Sarah promotes the UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. One of the highlights of Sarah’s fall term was harvesting olives at UC Davis’s organic olive grove. She explains, “The olives I helped to harvest are now the famous UC Davis Estate Olive Oil.” So famous, that if you visit the UC Davis campus bookstore, you can purchase that olive oil.

More recently, Sarah joined the UC Davis Draft Horse and Driving Club. She is excited to share her progress saying, “I know how to drive a horse and buggy, but I don’t even know how to drive a car yet!” She mentioned that tractor driving lessons were on the agenda, so we’ll look forward to that update.

Wether she’s studying for exams, helping on a local farm, or encouraging future UC Davis students, Sarah has found a greater appreciation for her father’s military career. “I think all of this hard work has helped me to better understand and appreciate what it must have been like for my dad to work long hours and hard shifts on the submarine.” Her father, Senior Chief Michael Berg, USN (Ret), recently retired after twenty-three years of service.

The ThanksUSA team extends our thanks to Senior Chief Berg for his military service. We congratulate Sarah on receipt of her Stephen Curry/ThanksUSA scholarship and we hope that her eagerness for new experiences continues throughout her undergraduate years.

“I would like Stephen Curry and ThanksUSA supporters to know how thankful I am to them. Their contribution has allowed me to experience things here at UC Davis that I never would have dreamed I could do! All these wonderful things are preparing me for the work I intend to do in third world countries – teaching people how to raise fish and crops sustainably in order to be able to provide for themselves.”

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Frances KarnuthWhether you’re military or civilian, we’ve all had those overwhelming moments that just seem impossible to overcome. This week’s featured ThanksUSA scholar, Frances Karnuth, has a very inspirational outlook on those moments. “You can sit there and be overwhelmed, or you can get up and change the situation. Your goals are much more attainable than you think!”

A Coast Guard spouse and mother of six, Frances was awarded a $3,000 Pershing Square Foundation/ThanksUSA scholarship for her Psychology and Nursing majors. With the end goal of becoming a Nurse Practitioner, Frances is currently enrolled in both Regent University and Maryville University.

Over twenty years ago, Frances enrolled in a nursing program and was doing very well. Unfortunately, she had to take a medical leave of absence and during that time, the school closed. Although she was unable to complete the program, Frances says, “The desire to become a nurse never waned.”

Though a nursing degree was still her goal, family commitments took priority. Her husband, Franz, was beginning an active-duty career in the United States Coast Guard and the couple were starting their family.

When she was just three years old, the Karnuths’ eldest daughter, Janelle, was diagnosed with cancer. “This resulted in years of extensive chemotherapy and follow-up appointments.” Being a stay-at-home mom during those years provided the entire family with nurturing stability and consistency.

Frances has home-schooled each of her children. Over the years, she has grown to recognize different learning styles and study habits. Having to adjust a lesson plan or modify her teaching has had a very positive effect on her as a student. Frances explains, “I have a better understanding of how to adapt so that I can succeed.”

If her teaching success is any indication, Frances will have no problem succeeding as a student. Today, Janelle is a happy, healthy, young woman who is working towards a degree in Creative Arts Therapy. Son Josh is a lab technician at a package testing laboratory (he actually gets to blow things up!), while son Tim is a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army. Younger children, Josiah, Eric, and Elisha still sit down and do homework at the same time as Mom. “They often see me working just a hard as they do. I learn–that’s my job!” In 2009, Franz retired from the Coast Guard after 22 years of service. He continues to serve our country as a civilian.

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Many military spouses contemplate returning to school. When asked if she had advice to offer, Frances said, “It’s easier if you’re flexible with your goals. I plan to accomplish my professional goal by working diligently towards completing smaller goals.”

Setting those smaller goals is certainly working to her advantage. Frances will earn her Associates Degree in Psychology this spring from Regent University and will transfer to Maryville as a full-time student seeking dual Bachelor degrees in Nursing and Psychology.  She explains, “By including both physical and psychological aspects to my training as a nurse practitioner, I will be better equipped to understand the medical needs of my patients.”

With encouragement from her loving family, the military community, and ThanksUSA supporters, Frances will continue to succeed. She is appreciative of the Pershing Square/ThanksUSA scholarship and says, “Your gift helps me financially and has provided a much-needed dose of emotional encouragement. It is wonderful knowing that others have faith in me. Thank you again–I won’t let you down.”

The ThanksUSA team extends our warmest wishes to all families, military and civilian, this Holiday season. We thank you for contributing to ThanksUSA scholarships in 2013 and encourage you to support the educational goals of military spouses, like Frances, by making your tax-deductible donation to ThanksUSA today.

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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.

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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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With a passion for the environment, Haley Schaeffer plans to advance upon the work of great conservationists like Jane Goodall, Steven Amstrup, and John Muir. The Coast Guard dependent was awarded a $3,000 ESA Foundation/ThanksUSA scholarship to pursue her Conservation Biology Degree at St. Lawrence University.

Haley SchaefferHaley explains, “Climate Change and Environmental Devastation are two things which I have become personally invested in the past several years.” Before graduating high school, she had already volunteered over 1800 hours as a ZooTeen at the Oregon Zoo, served as an ambassador for the Johnson Creek Watershed, and was president of her high school’s Conservation Corps. .

This past summer, Haley traveled to Costa Rica where use volunteered with the Sea Turtle Restoration Center. When the fall term started, she was eager to involve herself in campus activities that would supplement her major. She joined the Environmental Action Organization which works to keep the St. Lawrence campus environmentally responsible. “We attended the national Powershift Conference, which really helped to open my eyes to how most of the social and environmental issues prevalent today are connected. It was great to see so many people who are taking action!”

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Taken in Costa Rica near the Sea Turtle Restoration Center

Haley is also embracing the natural beauty of the surrounding Adirondacks. She enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking, as well as working on local communes. “Being involved in nature inspires me to do my part to protect the ecosystems that I am in.”

Haley’s father, Chief Boatswain’s Mate Daniel Schaeffer, retired from the Coast Guard after serving during a span of over thirty years. “I respect him and am proud of his contribution to our armed forces. It makes me even more driven to do my part to protect our natural environment as he did the people and resources of our rivers and coast lines.”

Ultimately, Haley plans to continue her education, earning a Master’s in Wildlife Management and a Doctorate in Conservation Biology and Ecology. Since Haley’s experiences thus far have only strengthened her desires to advance conservation efforts, the ThanksUSA team is confident that she will reach her goals and likely inspire fellow students along the way.

“Since being named a recipient of the ESA Foundation/ThanksUSA scholarship, my dream of majoring in Conservation Biology is becoming a realty. Thank you so much again for your contribution! I could not have attended this school if it were not for kind people and organizations such as you.”

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THANKSUSA ANNOUNCES NINTH ANNUAL TREASURE HUNT CHALLENGE

November 26, 2013, Washington, DC – ThanksUSA and their partner the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation today announced the launch of the ninth annual ThanksUSA Treasure Hunt (TH9), a free, fully interactive digital trivia and puzzle game about U.S. history, culture and values. The hunt supports ThanksUSA’s annual scholarship fund to benefit the children and spouses of active-duty military personnel by providing need-based scholarships for two-year or four-year colleges, vocational or technical schools. The focus of this year’s hunt will be the United States Bill of Rights.

The digital trivia game will be assessable starting Thanksgiving Day, November 28. Participants will be quizzed on the Bill of Rights’ history, purpose and implications on American life. It is the first of six Treasure Hunt chapters available for free online (www.thanksusa.org) and via mobile application.

“Treasure Hunt 9 promises to be one of our most challenging contests ever, engaging students and their families across the country while reminding them of the sacrifices of our troops,” said ThanksUSA Executive Director Michele Stork. “The ESA Foundation’s continued support for the contest and scholarships will help ThanksUSA cross the $10 million mark in scholarships.”

The ESA Foundation has underwritten the annual Treasure Hunt series for five years and also funds 25 “ESA Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarships” annually. Since its inception in 2005, more than 12,000 Americans have engaged in ThanksUSA treasure hunts that reflect the nation’s history, values and culture while raising awareness and funds for the educational pursuits of military families.

“The U.S. video game industry is proud to support our nation’s troops and their families,” said Jenny Lai, vice president of the ESA Foundation. “We are proud to help educate children through the use of digital technology and bring our unique and impactful resources to augment ThanksUSA’s remarkable mission and work.”

Following the official launch of Treasure Hunt Nine on November 28, subsequent chapters will be introduced on the first of each month beginning January 1, 2014. The six-month Bill of Rights challenge will close on May 31, 2014, and will be followed by a summer bonus round slated for July 4 – August 15, 2014.

Four players who correctly answer each chapter’s questions will each receive a $250 Walmart gift certificate. A grand prize – a $500 Walmart gift card – will be drawn from the pool of individuals who correctly answer all questions in each round.

The Treasure Hunt series serves to generate attention and donations for ThanksUSA’s annual scholarship fund. Since 2006, ThanksUSA award over 3,000 need-based scholarships valued at nearly $10 million to families representing all branches of the armed services across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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ThanksUSA_Logo_1About ThanksUSA
Founded in the fall of 2005, ThanksUSA, a non-partisan 501(c) (3) organization, is an effort to thank the men and women of our armed forces and their families for their service to the country with the gift of education. The organization provides need-based, post-secondary education opportunities to the children and spouses of active-duty status military personnel through competitive scholarships. For more information, please visit www.ThanksUSA.org.

PrintAbout the ESA Foundation
The ESA Foundation was created by the American interactive entertainment software industry to support and provide opportunities that can make a difference in the lives of America’s youth. The Foundation is fully supported by proceeds from industry projects and and its annual fundraiser, “A Nite to Unite – for Kids.” For more information about the ESA Foundation, please visit www.ESAFoundation.org

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2013 Graduate

Congratulations to Marine Corps spouse and ThanksUSA scholar MaKenna Arrigo! Earlier this year, with the assistance of a $3,000 Blavatnik Family Foundation/ThanksUSA scholarship, MaKenna completed her Psychology studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, earning Cum Laude honors.

Although her husband, Sergeant Christopher Arrigo, USMC, was deployed at the time, MaKenna’s mother, Marilyn Hughes, and her grandfather, Michael McDonough were in attendance to support their graduate.

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“It was the one of the happiest days of my life and also one of the most emotional as I wished my late father and my deployed husband could have been there.”

The military has always been part of MaKenna’s life. Her grandfather served in the Army during the Korean War and her father, CWO Robert Buotte, dedicated over 28 years of service to the Coast Guard before his unexpected passing in 2010.

Now that she has earned her BA in Psychology, MaKenna has been busy making plans for graduate school. Ultimately, she would like to pursue a career as a social worker within the military community.

MaKenna_Arrigo 2012

“As both a military child and spouse, I want to thank the supporters of the ThanksUSA organization from the bottom of my heart. The support from this organization has given me a chance to achieve an undergraduate college degree and now set my sights higher to a masters degree.”

.The ThanksUSA team congratulates MaKenna on her academic accomplishments and wishes her continued success with her graduate studies. In the coming weeks, Scholarship News readers will be introduced to the new 2013-2014 ThanksUSA scholarship recipients, so be sure to check back often.

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Concert Flyer for Red, White and Greenbrier 2013 v3

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THANKSUSA MARKS $9 MILLION MILESTONE

More than 3,000 children and spouses of U.S. troops awarded the gift of education

Mclean, VA – August 29, 2013 – ThanksUSA today announced that it has awarded more than $9 million to date in post-secondary school scholarships for the children and spouses of U.S. troops. This milestone includes approximately 300 new scholarships awarded over the past week, totaling nearly $1 million in funds.

Since its founding in 2005 by sisters Rachel and Kelsi Okun, ThanksUSA has awarded over 3,000 scholarships to military families in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“We were just girls – I was 10 and Kelsi was eight – when we started looking for a way to thank our troops for all they sacrifice in keeping us safe,” said Rachel Okun, now 17. “Over the past eight years, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of those who feel the same and who want to help support military families through ThanksUSA.”

“We understood the importance of a good education and wanted to share our blessings with the families of our service men and women,” added Kelsi Okun, now 14. “The gift of education is the perfect way to do so.”

The Okun sisters travel the country speaking with ThanksUSA scholarship recipients in order to introduce them to Americans through video profiles and speeches. ThanksUSA’s new videos will be released at the organization’s annual gala at Washington DC’s Newseum on September 25, 2013, hosted by Lara Logan of CBS News. Tom Brokaw will be honored at the gala as will Col. Lanier Ward, survivor of a critical battle in Iraq and inspiration for ThanksUSA. Senator Roy Blunt, who represents 74 Missouri scholarship recipients, will also be honored. Senator Blunt took a personal interest in ThanksUSA as a House Member discussing the program with the troops in Iraq during the formative years of the program.

Among this year’s award recipients is Donnice Roberts, proud widow of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Kevin Casey Roberts. Donnice is pursuing dual degrees in Education and Rehabilitation Services with the end goal of working within the military community.

“I am truly grateful to ThanksUSA for this generous scholarship. I want to honor my husband’s legacy by using my education to help fellow military families. My children are learning that even through tragedy, we can overcome and succeed. With your support, I will make a difference and I will succeed.”

ThanksUSA also announced today a continuing partnership with the world-record holding doubles tennis twins Bob and Mike Bryan. The organization has established a nationwide Tennis Thanks the Troops campaign – a partnership with the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) involving tennis pros, fans and local communities, and presents an online challenge called the “ ThanksUSA Treasure Hunt,” sponsored since 2008 by the Entertainment Software Association Foundation, which explore the nation’s history, culture and values.

As the battle in Iraq ends and the conflict in Afghanistan winds down, ThanksUSA plans to step up efforts to support the families of military personnel who are re-integrating into the workplace. Helping service members’ children and spouses advance their education and achieve successful careers will relieve the new pressures that challenge those who have returned home.

“Our troops and their families deserve our respect and our thanks for their service in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last 12 years,” said General George Casey, former Army Chief of Staff and ThanksUSA board member. “They have borne significant burdens to protect this country, and we cannot allow their contributions to be quickly forgotten. Their mission of defending us is, unfortunately, not over.”

About ThanksUSA
ThanksUSA is a non-partisan, charitable effort to mobilize Americans of all ages to “thank” the men and women of the United States armed forces. The organization provides college, technical and vocational school scholarships for the children and spouses of active-duty status military personnel. For more information, visit www.thanksusa.org.

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2013 Graduate

Congratulations to Navy dependent and newly commissioned Air Force officer, Allia Grace Martinez! Receiving a total of $9,000 in ThanksUSA scholarships, this amazing scholar recently earned her B.S. in Biomedical Sciences, graduating from the University of South Alabama with Cum Laude honors.

Allia Grace Martinez

Graduation day served as an exceptionally memorable day as Allia Grace was also commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. Her family shared in her commissioning by pinning on her bars, while the first salute was rendered by her father, CSC Alfredo Dyune Martinez, U.S. Navy (Ret).

ThanksUSA supporters may recognize Allia Grace and her family from previous Scholarship News blog posts. Thanks to gracious contributions from Lockheed Martin, the Blavatnik Family Foundation, Goldman Sachs Gives, Charity Works, and Military Connection, Allia Grace and her brothers, Aljo Victor and Alden David, have received ThanksUSA scholarships totaling $15,000!

The entire ThanksUSA team congratulates Allia Grace on her accomplishments and we wish her well as she trains for her Air Force career in Space and Missiles. We also extend our thanks to the Martinez family for sharing this special day with ThanksUSA supporters!

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“We as a family would like to, once again, express our gratitude to ThanksUSA and all the grantors who make it possible for students like our daughter finish college. Your time and generosity are greatly appreciated. We will never forget your kindness to our family. May God bless you all abundantly.”
Sincerely,
Dyune and Amy Martinez

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NOVA/DC area ThanksUSA scholars & military families:  The Washington Kastles will host Military Appreciation Night on Monday, July 22nd. See Martina Hingis and the Kastles take on the Philadelphia Freedoms! ThanksUSA has a limited number of FREE tickets available for our scholars and local military families. If you’re interested, please message us on Facebook.

We will fulfill requests on a first come/first serve basis.  If you miss out on our free tickets, don’t despair…Active-duty, veterans, and military family members can get Buy One, Get One 50% Off tickets through ticketmaster using promo code WKMN13.

Kastles Military Apprecation Night Flyer

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Congratulations to ThanksUSA scholars Karen and Brittany Butler! This mother/daughter duo each earned degrees from Valdosta State University and proudly walked the stage together. Karen says, “It was a great moment in my life to share something so special with my daughter!”

 

karen and brittany grad 2013

Karen, spouse of MSGT Kevin Butler, USAF RET, has received consecutive ThanksUSA scholarships totaling $6,000 for her undergraduate studies at Valdosta State University.  Karen received a KPMG LLC/ThanksUSA scholarship in 2011 and an EADS/Senator Ted Stevens Memorial scholarship through ThanksUSA in 2012.

She recently completed her Associates of Art in Business Administration and will continue her studies to earn her BA in Accounting with certification in both Healthcare Administration and Human Resources.

Kevin and Karen’s daughter, Brittany, also received $6,000 in ThanksUSA scholarships for her Biology major at Valdosta State.  She received a Blavatnik Family Foundation/ThanksUSA scholarship in 2010 and an EMC Corp/Senator Ted Stevens Memorial scholarship through ThanksUSA in 2011.

This May, Brittany graduated from the Valdosta State University Honors College. She received Summa Cum Laude honors and earned her BA in Biology with a minor in Chemistry.

ThanksUSA is proud to support our deserving military families and we hope you will join us in congratulating both Brittany and Karen on a job well done – Way to go ladies!!

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2013 Graduate

Congratulations to Air Force dependent Michael Atkins, Jr, who graduated from North Carolina State University with degrees in Sociology and Political Science. While at NC State, the Thomas Jefferson Scholar received consecutive ThanksUSA scholarships totaling $9,000. With his undergraduate studies complete, Michael is eagerly preparing for law school.

Graduation announcement

Michael has remained actively involved with ThanksUSA throughout his college years. He was first introduced to ThanksUSA supporters in a Scholarship News feature during his freshman year. He represented ThanksUSA scholarship recipients at our 2010 Congressional Round Table and has written letters of thanks to individual donors. Most recently, Michael has been meeting with fellow ThanksUSA scholarship recipients to establish a ThanksUSA alumni group.

ThanksUSA is just one of many charitable organizations that Michael contributes his time and energy to. He has made a lifetime commitment to community service and was even appointed to the North Carolina Commission for Volunteerism and Community Service at the age of 19.

Please join the ThanksUSA team in congratulating Michael on his academic accomplishments and wishing him continued success with law school. Congratulations Michael!!

In 2012, Michael had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Manchester. He was able to fit in some incredible sightseeing which he is happy to share with ThanksUSA supporters:

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2013 TTTT Flyer-Update 6.3.13

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ThanksUSA benefit concert hosted by Caleb Harris

Caleb Harris is hosting a benefit concert at Clarendon Grill on Sunday June 23, 2013. Proceeds will benefit ThanksUSA— a non-partisan charitable effort to “thank” the men and women of the armed forces by providing need-based scholarships for their children and spouses (visit ThanksUSA.org for more information about ThanksUSA).

Doors will open at 5:00PM and cover band Partners in Crime will go on at 6:15. Clarendon Grill is offering drink specials, including $2 domestic drafts & bottles from 5:00-7:00PM. 100% of the $10 door cover will go to ThanksUSA. Door cover will include one raffle ticket and prizes will be drawn throughout the night. Additional raffle tickets will be available for purchase.

Clarendon Grill
1101 N Highland St
Arlington, VA  22201
June 23, 2013
Time: 5:00 pm 

If you would like to donate a raffle prize for the concert, please contact Caleb at:

Email: cmharri12@gmail.com
Cell: 304-667-7538

 Step up to the plate to ThanksUSA with Caleb Harris at Nationals Park

In addition to the concert, Caleb has partnered with the Washington Nationals to offer fundraiser tickets for the June 27th baseball game at Nationals Park against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  The Nationals have agreed to donate $20 to ThanksUSA for every ticket purchased on their website using promo code CALEB.  Tickets can be purchase at http://nationals.com/tickets or click HERE to go directly to the ticket purchase page for the June 27th game.

Donation can also be made directly to ThanksUSA using credit card or PayPal at: Donate to ThanksUSA.  Please don’t change the “donation towards” field.  It should be set to “KPMG USA” in order to pool all of our contributions.

Our total fundraising effort will be recognized during a pre-game, on-field donation presentation ceremony on June 27th at Nationals Park.  So purchase your ticket, make a donation, and then come out to Nationals Park to see the result of your efforts!

Nationals Park
1500 South Capitol Street SE
Washington, DC  20003
June 27, 2013
Time: 4:00 pm
 
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2013 Graduate

Congratulations to 2013 graduate, Tyler Cecchini! The daughter of Marianne and Lieutenant Colonel Robert Cecchini, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret), Tyler received ThanksUSA scholarships totaling $6,000 during her undergraduate studies. She recently earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Design and Technology, with a specialization in costumes, from the University of Central Florida. A member of the Burnett Honors College, she graduated Cum Laude with Honors and is currently working in the costume department of Sea World Orlando.

Tyler Cecchini

Tyler & Shelby Cecchini

Tyler’s sister Shelby also had a stellar academic year. Shelby received a $3,000 ThanksUSA scholarship for her freshman year at the University of Central Florida where she majors in Creative Writing with a Technical Writing minor. Shelby made the Dean’s list both semesters and may add a second major, Technical Communications, in the fall.

The ThanksUSA team commends both Tyler and Shelby for their academic achievements. We hope you’ll join us in congratulating not only these bright young women, but all ThanksUSA scholarship recipients on a job well done!

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USPTA

 

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2013

A Win for Military Families as ThanksUSA and U.S. Professional Tennis Association Partner to Provide Scholarships

Champions Lisa Raymond and Bob and Mike Bryan Join the Team

McLean, VA, 17 May 2013 – ThanksUSA and the U.S. Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) are gearing up for their second annual Tennis Thanks the Troops fundraising campaign to support scholarships for the children and spouses of U.S. service men and women. With May recognized nationally as Military Appreciation Month, the two organizations will be recruiting the country’s USPTA Professionals, clubs, players and tennis fans in organizing tournaments and other special events to raise funds throughout Memorial Day weekend.

Tennis stars Lisa Raymond and Mike and Bob Bryan have returned for a second year to support the effort by participating in public service announcements promoting Tennis Thanks the Troops.

“Global combat operations are ending but the mission of our troops – to protect our nation and our freedoms – persists. As does our responsibility to continue supporting them,”said Bob Okun, chairman and CEO of ThanksUSA. “We are proud to thank our armed forces and their families for their daily sacrifices through the gift of education.”

ThanksUSA provides need-based, post-secondary scholarships to the children and spouses of active-duty personnel across all the Armed Forces, the National Guard and Reserves, as well as families of the fallen and wounded.

“Clubs with USPTA pros are developing creative events that will help ThanksUSA award 500 scholarships worth $1.5 million this year, helping make U.S. military families the real winners,” said Michele Stork, executive director of ThanksUSA.

Throughout Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27, participating USPTA Professionals at various facilities will collect a minimum voluntary donation of $5 from tennis players, professionals, members, guests and fans to support ThanksUSA. Facilities will have flexibility on their donation-collection options, including choosing among tournaments/contests, lessons and silent auctions, and can also hold fundraising events on other weekends throughout the year.

“There’s certainly a lot of attention on supporting those initiatives that help our troops of late and rightfully so,” said USPTA CEO John Embree. “As an association, we intend to do our part using pros who are community-minded and want to show their dedication to the military by making a valuable contribution to those efforts.”

Leading the charge are the San Diego District Tennis Association through its annual Tennis Fest and the Berkeley Hills Country Club in Duluth, Ga., with a Tennis Thanks the Troops Memorial Day Mixer. All participating facilities will be competing to raise the most money for the campaign, with the winner able to send their pro and one guest to the US Open in New York on Aug. 30.

For more information on the Tennis Thanks the Troops campaign, visit the Tennis Thanks the Troops webpage. Join the team and show your gratitude to our military men and women and their families!

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About the USPTA: Founded in 1927, USPTA strives to raise the standards of the tennis profession while promoting greater awareness of the sport. USPTA offers nearly 70 professional benefits to its more than 15,000 members worldwide, including certification and professional development. With more than 300 days of educational opportunities throughout the year, USPTA offers the most comprehensive continuing education program in the tennis industry. For more information, call 800-877-8248 or visit www.uspta.com.

About ThanksUSA: ThanksUSA is a non-partisan, charitable effort to mobilize Americans of all ages to “thank” the men and women of the United States armed forces. The organization provides college, technical and vocational school scholarships for the children and spouses of active-duty status military personnel. For more information, visit www.thanksusa.org.

CONTACT:
Poornima Rimm, Director of Public Relations
USPTA
713-978-7782, ext. 125
Poornima.Rimm@USPTA.org

Michele Stork, Executive Director
ThanksUSA
703-855-4108
MicheleStork@ThanksUSA.org

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Allen_Eric 2012.

ThanksUSA is currently accepting scholarship applications for the 2013-2014 academic year. Over the past seven years, ThanksUSA has awarded over 2,800 scholarships (worth nearly $8.5 million) to deserving military spouses and dependent children. $3,000 American Airlines/ThanksUSA Scholarship recipient Eric Pierre Allen is an excellent representation of these scholars. The Army dependent’s unique combination of majors, combined with his giving spirit and drive to succeed, really make him stand out.

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Eric’s father, First Sergeant Norman Allen, U.S. Army, has been serving our great nation for over twenty five years. Knowing life only as a military child, Eric travelled often and was exposed to a variety of cultures.

As a teen, Eric found himself enthralled with the vibrant graphics of Japanese animation. Though he enjoyed the visual styles of anime, he couldn’t fully understand the symbolism and cultural references. Soon, his quest to grasp the intricacies of anime led to a fascination with Japanese history and culture.

In high school, Eric had the opportunity to focus on his Japanese interests as a student of the Internal Baccalaureate Program. He explains, “I did my senior thesis paper on the Samurai Code of Bushido and how it affected the mentality of the Kamikaze pilots. This is when I gained a great passion for Japanese culture and language.”

When he entered the University of Texas at Austin to study accounting, Eric knew that he also wanted to continue his Japanese studies. During his freshman year, Eric attended a fair to learn about various campus student groups. Interested in joining an organization that would complement his business studies, Eric stopped by a particular group’s table only to find it unoccupied. The neighboring table happened to be hosted by the Asian Business Students Association. Eric struck up a conversation with ABSA’s Internal Vice President and accepted her enthusiastic invitation to join.

Now, nearly three years later, Eric is pursuing his Masters in Professional Accounting and B.A. in Japanese Language and Culture. He has become involved in many campus organizations including Student Government, Liberal Arts Council, Japanese Association, and Black Business Students Association. He is also a DJ and show host for the campus’s Chop Suey Radio and he has continued his involvement in the ABSA. In fact, Eric currently serves as the ABSA’s Internal Vice President – the same position of the officer who invited him to join during his freshman year.

Eric believes that all college students should seek out campus organizations and activities in order to make the most of their educational experience. He adds, “Through all of the organizations I have been involved with, I have gained valuable connections with people that will transcend college.”

As his junior year at UT Austin concludes, Eric is preparing for what may be his most memorable year yet. During the 2013-2014 academic year, Eric’s collegiate majors will culminate into an immersive learning experience with studies abroad in Osaka and Tokyo.

After completing his undergraduate degrees and earning his CPA, Eric plans to gain practical experience in the United States before pursuing an international career. Eventually, he hopes to earn his PhD in Japanese history and become a college professor.

Considering his academic achievements thus far, I’m sure Eric will accomplish every goal he sets for himself. As the 2012-2013 academic year concludes, I hope to bring you more highlights from our deserving scholars. Some may be wrapping up their first year of college, while others are graduating. If you find any of these ThanksUSA scholarship recipients as inspiring as I do, I encourage you to make your tax deductible donation today.

“All of my accomplishments so far have been because of generous people like you. Thank you again for your donation.” – Army dependent Eric Allen

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MILITARY APPRECIATION MONDAYS

Supports ThanksUSA

A great group of Virginian business owners hosts a monthly dinner to raise funds for organizations that support our beloved military. This month, ThanksUSA is honored to be the chosen organization for May’s Military Appreciation Monday.

Make your reservations now for dinner on Monday, May 13th, at The Old Brogue in Great Falls. Seatings will be at 5:30 and 7:30, and no donations is necessary…just enjoy a delicious dinner while supporting ThanksUSA’s mission!

Bob Nelson of Keller Williams Realty in Great Falls speaks about this wonderful fundraising effort:

“We have been doing monthly dinners at the Old Brogue in Great Falls, Va. for the past five years. These started out as small events with 10-15 of our friends and have now grown to attracting anywhere from 80-140 people. About 80 percent of attendees are our regulars while the other 20 percent are first time attendees. Most of the money raised is through our regular cosponsor donations. Myself and these cosponsors each make a ten percent donation based on what you spend for dinner. We also conduct a door prize drawing. Our typical match comes in at between 150-200 percent of the total dinner tab.”

So don’t delay – call The Old Brogue at (703) 759-3309 to make your dinner reservation and print out this flyer to share with your neighbors and coworkers:

Thanks USA Flyer

Our sincerest appreciation to Bob Nelson and these generous business sponsors:

The Old Brogue

Gary Kaihara, DDS

Double Eagle Title

Blue River IT

Al’s Towing and Storage

Taylor Allgyer – First Savings Mortgage

James Gaudiosi – Atlantic Coast Mortgage

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ThanksUSA is now accepting scholarship applications for the 2013-2014 academic year. Completing a scholarship application may seem like a daunting task, but it’s really just a matter of providing the requested information. A complete overview of this year’s scholarship program can be found here, but the following can help get you started:

Tips For Completing The ThanksUSA Scholarship Application

  • Carefully read through the entire application. Be sure to fill it out completely and accurately. Proofread your application and verify that all supporting documents are attached before submitting.
  • When stating your educational and career objectives, be concrete. Tell us what you are studying and why. Even if you’re undecided about your major, relay what you wish to accomplish with your education.
  • Demonstrate that you’re a well-rounded individual. List all of you activities and be sure to include any recognition you have received for them. You may immediately think of academics or sports, but what about your community involvement? Are you involved with a religious organization? Have you participated in charitable drives? Do you have a hobby? Are you employed? Do you mentor or tutor? Don’t sell yourself short!
  • If you don’t understand a portion of the application, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance: thanksusa@scholarshipamerica.org

The ThanksUSA team encourages you to share ThanksUSA’s mission with your family and friends – Just click on one of the social links below. Don’t forget to support our mission by making your tax-deductible donation today!

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ThanksUSA Scholarship Application Season Opens for 2013: Hundreds to be Awarded 

Children and spouses of U.S. troops are invited to apply for ThanksUSA scholarships beginning April 1, 2013.  The organization’s eighth annual application season helps military families pursue a university, college or post-secondary vocational education.

“These scholarships reflect Americans’ gratitude for the commitment and sacrifices of our military men and women and their families,” said ThanksUSA CEO and Chairman Bob Okun.  “The gift of education is our way of saying thanks for their service.”

ThanksUSA provides need-based scholarships to the children and spouses of active-duty personnel across all the Armed Forces, the National Guard and Reserves, as well as families of the fallen and wounded.  Applications will be accepted through May 15, 2013 online at www.ThanksUSA.org.

ThanksUSA has awarded 2,800 scholarships so far and expects to exceed 3,000 scholarships by the end of 2013.

“In past years, we’ve received thousands of requests during the six-week application period –  a clear indication of the support our military families need,” said ThanksUSA Executive Director Michele Stork.  “We expect an equally strong response in 2013. Our aim is to benefit 500 new recipients who most need and deserve the opportunity to transform their lives, but lack the resources to do so.”

The 500 ThanksUSA scholarships are valued at $1.5 million in total and are made possible by continuing campaigns and events.

  • Tennis Thanks the Troops – The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is championing this campaign for a second year, calling on its members, pros and tennis enthusiasts to participate in tournaments, raffles and other activities to benefit ThanksUSA starting Memorial Day weekend and throughout the year.
  • Stevens Commemorative Scholarships – 2013 marks the third year of scholarships in honor of the late Senator Ted Stevens.  An additional 40 scholarships are expected to be announced at a special event honoring the late Senator and other Congressional World War II veterans.
  • Kaplan University Support – Also entering its third year as a ThanksUSA partner is Washington-based Kaplan University. Kaplan University provides a full scholarship to attend the school as well as a number of partial scholarships to cover 55 percent of tuition costs.  “Kaplan University is once again pleased to participate with ThanksUSA and to offer scholarship opportunities to our military families,” said Scott Kilgore, senior vice president of military affairs, Kaplan University.
  • Jackson Casey Scholarship Fund –In partnership with ThanksUSA, the Fund, whose mission is to keep the memory and spirit of Jackson Casey alive throughout the community, was created to provide need-based scholarships to the children of active-duty military from Virginia with an emphasis on Northern Virginia. Through donations and the annual Jackson Casey Memorial Golf Tournament, the Fund raised more than $200,000 in 2012. For the 2012-2013 school year, 15 scholarships totaling $45,000 were awarded in Jackson Casey’s name.

Support for ThanksUSA’s education goals also comes from donors including Altria, Apex, the Blavatnik Family Foundation, ESA Foundation, Folds of Honor Foundation, Goldman Sachs Gives, Intelligent Decisions, Lockheed Martin, No Greater Sacrifice Foundation, Paladin Capital Group, Pershing Square Foundation and others.

ThanksUSA was the idea of two Virginia sisters, Rachel and Kelsi Okun, who were compelled to thank our troops for defending our nation and its freedoms.  Since 2006, the 501(c)(3) non-profit has provided nearly $8.5 million in academic scholarship assistance to US military families throughout all 50 states, and all branches of service, with particular attention given to those whose loved one was killed or wounded in action.

For more information, eligibility requirements and to apply, visit www.ThanksUSA.org.

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About ThanksUSA

Founded in the fall of 2005, ThanksUSA, a non-partisan 501(c) (3) organization, is an effort to thank the men and women of our armed forces and their families for their service to the country with the gift of education. The organization provides need-based, post-secondary education opportunities to the children and spouses of active-duty status military personnel through competitive scholarships. For more information, please visit http://www.ThanksUSA.org.

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Sabrina Shah 2013Sabrina Shah intends to create a safe and healthy future for developing children. With the financial assistance of a $3,000 Jackson Casey Fund/ThanksUSA scholarship, Sabrina is completing her final year of undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Since 2009, Sabrina has received ThanksUSA scholarships totaling $12,000. In just a few months, she will earn degrees in both Psychology and Media & Communication Studies.

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Sabrina’s interest in psychology began early. She often read articles or watched videos that focused on the subject. When she enrolled in an AP Psychology class in high school, Sabrina realized that she wasn’t merely learning facts; she truly understood and enjoyed every psychology lesson that was being taught.

After exploring several disciplines, Sabrina decided to focus on developmental psychology. Even as a teen, she was starting to realize that “troubled” students were the result of their environment.

Kinza & Sabrina Shah

Kinza & Sabrina Shah

Sabrina is most interested in combining her majors to study the effects of media on the social development of children. Through her studies and research, she has realized that media can be used to promote focus and learning in the classroom.

One of Sabrina’s most fascinating research projects involved pediatric cancer patients. Her team created virtual reality helmets that patients wore during treatments. Watching positive imagery produced a calming effect that distracted the young children during painful or scary treatments. Sabrina believes that the use of such media can actually alleviate or prevent psychological trauma.

Though she is always eager to experiment with, and learn from, different fields of psychology, Sabrina reports that she always returns to developmental psychology. Like most enthusiastic students, Sabrina belongs to groups and clubs that enhance her learning experience. She is member of the UMBC Philosophy Club and the Psychology Honors Society (Psi Chi), and has participated in the Model UN since high school.

Besides study related activities, Sabrina devotes much of her time to charitable organizations. She is most involved with Challah for Hunger, which raises funds to fight hunger and poverty through the sale of homemade challah bread.

As she nears graduation, Sabrina is preparing to continue her education, possibly at Cornell University, with the intention of earning her PhD in Developmental Psychology. With such dedication to both her major field of study and helping others through her charitable work, Sabrina is likely to impact many lives.

I think it’s important to note that Sabrina is not the only successful collegiate in her family. In 2006, her older brother, Zain, received a $5,000 ThanksUSA scholarship for his studies at Brooklyn College. Zain is now pursuing a career in computer engineering. Younger sister, Kinza, is off to a great start at Towson University where she is majoring in Speech Pathology.

Sabrina, her mother Tasneem, and sister Kinza

Sabrina, her mother Tasneem, and sister Kinza

As Sabrina prepares for graduate school, Kinza is preparing to apply for a 2013-2014 ThanksUSA scholarship. Applications will be accepted between April 1 and May 15, 2013, and potential applicants are encouraged to register for a reminder.

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Isaias Joshua Suarez wants to help the progression of society through scientific research. The recipient of a $3,000 ESA Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship, he has entered Washington University in St. Louis where he intends to pursue majors in both Chemistry and Computer Science. Isaias explains, “The experiments carried out with the Large Hadron Collider, solid state drives in computers, and GPS technology are all modern advancements made possible through the knowledge and passion of scientific researchers. I want to be part of innovations of these types, contributing towards the progress of society by improving people’s lives. With hard work and dedication, I will be able to enter the workforce and academia allowing me to develop new systems and technologies that will benefit my community.”

Though he was Valedictorian of his high school class, Isaias wanted to prepare for the challenges of college.  He completed the Summer Academic Program at WUSTL, earning college credits while familiarizing himself with the campus. In addition to his academics, he has qualified as a radio host for the campus station, KWUR, and volunteers through music based community service. Isaias reports that his current schedule is, “a bit hectic, but manageable.”

To keep him grounded and focused during the most hectic times, Isaias reminds himself of his family values. “I learned from my parents the importance of working at my full potential. My ethics, involvements and the desire to succeed are results of my Asian American heritage, a heritage that is instilled so deeply into me that I cannot imagine what type of person I would be without it. The United States is a place that is known for being the home of immigrants from many different countries. My parents are immigrants from the Philippines. They came to this country in search of greater opportunities that they could not find back in the Philippines. As the child of immigrants, being an Asian American is an integral part of who I am and a heavy influence on my future plans.”

Isaias’s parents, HMCS (SW) Isaias C. Suarez III, USN (Ret), and Cynthia Suarez have certainly done a fine job in raising their children. A few years ago, son Emmanuel Suarez received ThanksUSA scholarships totaling $4,000. In 2011, Emmanuel graduated Magna Sum Laude from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with degrees in Chemical Engineering and Mathematics.

ThanksUSA is proud to support our military families and encourages you to support our mission this holiday season by making your tax-deductible contribution today. Thanks to the generosity of sponsors like the ESA Foundation and individuals like you, ThanksUSA awarded over 300 scholarships for the 2012-2013 academic year. Help us reach our goal of awarding 500 scholarships in 2013. Your donation will make a difference to students like Isaias:

“It is thanks to the ESA Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship that I will be able to pursue my dream to become a researcher. To me, research is a way to give back to the community through science; a way to help out society. Without scholarships like this, the opportunity to attend such a prestigious university would not have been possible. Thank you very much for your generosity.”

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Our sincerest thanks to the Berkeley Hills Country Club in Duluth, Georgia, for raising their racquets in support of Tennis Thanks the Troops! The club hosted a tennis mixer/round robin and silent auction raising $2,500 for ThanksUSA scholarships! We encourage all USPTA pros to register their club as an official Tennis Thanks the Troops host facility. If you’re an avid player or fan, be sure to tell your club’s pro or director about Tennis Thanks the Troops today. The club raising the most money for Tennis Thanks the Troops will be able to send their pro and one guest to New York for the US Open, on August 30, 2013.

The Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association (ALTA) Net News magazine featured the Berkeley Hills event in their September/October 2012 edition:

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Samantha McEnhill has had an exciting year. Within the past twelve months, she has gotten married, relocated 2,000 miles from her previous home, and has, ever so slightly, altered her education plan. This week, Samantha speaks about staying focused on her academic goals while adjusting to military life.

Samantha spent much of her childhood honing her musical performance skills. As she aged, the enjoyment that she got from playing instruments developed into a love for music. Soon after, she realized the cultural value of all the arts and explains, “From visual art to literature, my love for the humanities and fine arts grew from a budding curiosity into a genuine passion.”

Thanks, in part, to a $3,000 Stephen Curry/ThanksUSA Scholarship, Samantha is now able to study the arts full-time. Samantha’s academic journey began three years ago at Michigan State University. When her husband received orders to California, Samantha was determined to complete her education. She is currently studying liberal arts at Solano Community College and plans to return to a four-year university to finish her humanities degree.

Samantha says, “Even though my bachelor’s degree may be taking longer to finish than I originally planned, I am staying focused on the positives. I would definitely encourage others not to dwell on setbacks you may be facing!”

Samantha also points out that she is not alone on her academic journey. Her husband, Airman Richard “Rick” McEnhill II, USAF, is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree with plans to commission as a Combat Rescue Officer. Samantha adds, “He is a great man, and I am so glad I get to stand by his side and watch his military career progress, all the way from its beginning to end!”

The young couple has adapted well to their first big PCS. They have settled into their new home, found a welcoming church to call their own, and began volunteering with San Francisco’s Marine Mammal Center.

As Rick and Samantha face the challenges of military life together, Samantha’s attitude remains positive. Ideally, she will earn her teaching credentials so that she can teach art history or humanities. She realizes that another PCS could further delay her degree, but says, “This is not a race to see who can finish their degree first. The education does not diminish in value based on the time it takes to complete.”

Well said, Samantha! ThanksUSA is honored to provide scholarships to military dependents and spouses. You can help provide the gift of education by making your tax-deductible donation today. You can even direct your Combined Federal Campaign contribution to ThanksUSA by using code 99441 on your pledge form.

“The Stephen Curry/ThanksUSA Scholarship has made an incredible difference in my education this year! We can breathe so much easier knowing that there are foundations like ThanksUSA who are willing to offer scholarship support to military families, so we can continue our education. We are so grateful.”

– Samantha McEnhill

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Thank the Troops by Giving the Gift of Education

As part of Tennis Thanks the Troops, the United States Professional Tennis Association and ThanksUSA have teamed up to encourage USPTA professionals to fund scholarships for the families of military men and women.

Holly & Lam Le

During Tennis Thanks the Troops, Veterans Day, November 11, the tennis community nationwide is asked to donate a minimum of $5 to the ThanksUSA organization, which provides need-based post-secondary scholarships for college, technical and vocational school, to the children and spouses of active-duty military men and women. Since its inception in 2006, ThanksUSA has awarded 2,800 scholarships totaling nearly $8.5 million.

Many USTA clubs have already hosted tournaments in support of Tennis Thanks the Troops. Earlier this year, the San Diego District Tennis Association, a member of USTA Southern California, made Tennis Thanks the Troops a part of their Annual Tennis Fest. As a reward for raising the most funds for ThanksUSA during the first half of the year, SDDTA received two tickets to the 2012 U.S. Open. Dedicated to our military heroes, SDDTA passed the tickets on to Wounded Warrior, SGT Lam Le, USMC, and spouse, Holly.

Raise your racquets in support of our troops and their families by providing the gift of education. Register your club today!

SDDTA recently presented Marine Corps spouse, Kara Andryushina, with the $3,000 San Diego District Tennis Association/ThanksUSA Scholarship. Pictured above are M.A. Hillier, SDDTA Board Member, Steve Kappes, SDDTA President, Geoff Griffin, SDDTA Board Member and Tennis Director at Balboa Tennis Club, Colonel Aleksandr Andryushina, USMC, Kara’s mother Barbara, Kara, Kara’s step-father Richard, and Aleksandr & Kara’s daughter Madison

Kara is currently completing her Respiratory Therapy studies at Grossmont College. When she graduates next May, this dedicated wife and mother plans to pursue a career as a pulmonary rehabilitation specialist at a VA hospital.

Kara’s educational journey has not been easy. In 2010, while completing pre-requisites for the respiratory therapy program, she received notice that her husband, Corporal Aleksandr Andryushina, had been injured while serving in Afghanistan.

Aleksandr had been medically evacuated to Germany for evaluation. Not only did a CT scan confirm a brain injury, the scan also revealed a brain tumor. Kara put her studies on hold to be with her husband. The young family, including daughter Madison, spent the next year focusing on Aleksandr’s health.

Currently, Aleksandr is assigned to the Wounded Warrior Battalion West as he continues with his recovery. Kara resumed her respiratory therapy studies and is looking forward to graduating with honors. Even young Madison has an update…she will soon be a big sister.

“I cannot express how grateful my family and I are to have this gift of education. My husband has been a great example of what tenacity means and what it takes to remain positive in the face of adversity. You have given us more than just a monetary gift, you have given us peace of mind in a time of uncertainty.”
– Kara Andryushina

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We continue to celebrate the success of the Hills Bros. Homefront Heroes campaign by introducing this week’s featured scholar, Air Force National Guard dependent, Monica Clevenger. Monica received a $3,000 Hills Bros. Homefront Heroes/ThanksUSA Scholarship to continue her Education studies at Malone University.

Both of Monica’s parents have served with the Air Force National Guard her entire life. “They are the most encouraging, loving, and inspirational people that I know. I look up to them and hope to make them proud with everything that I do,” she says.

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Initially, Monica had planned to join the military but was not qualified due to medical conditions. She explains, “Since I can’t join the military and serve my country, I’ve decided to dedicate my life to serving the Lord and others.” She enrolled in Malone University as an Education major and joined service organizations and clubs so that she could serve the local community.

Monica makes a point of learning important lessons from each of her service opportunities. “Student Senate,” she explains, “showed me how to be a better leader. Coaching volleyball taught me patience and understanding. Volunteering with an after school program for underprivileged children taught me not to take any aspect of my life for granted.“ Monica is also very interested in missionary work and plans to make a mission trip to a third-world country within the next two years.

As a future educator, Monica’s goal is to teach science and math at the middle school level, preferably in an inner city school setting or on a military installation. She credits her own primary school teachers with sparking her interest in education and advises, “Stay dedicated to your studies and always do your best. Never give up on yourself. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.”

Monica’s own dedication to her studies is evident. She has an exemplary GPA and continues to seek out new ways to serve her community. Monica explains that she chose Malone University because it offered her spiritual opportunities. “Now,” she says, “I see the potential that I have not only as a student but also as an educator and witness for God.”

The ThanksUSA team looks forward to seeing Monica fulfill her potential and we conclude this week’s Scholarship News blog with a heartfelt message from Monica:

“Once again, I would just like to say how thankful I am for the generosity of ThanksUSA and Hills Bros. for helping students like me achieve their dreams. To all military members and their families I would like to say thank you. Thank you for your sacrifices and your service to making this country the greatest nation in the world!”

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In March of 2011, Hills Bros. Coffee and ThanksUSA kicked off the Hills Bros. Homefront Heroes campaign. Coffee drinkers across the country purchased specially marked cans of Hills Bros. Coffee in support of ThanksUSA Scholarships. The campaign was huge success and over $150,000 in scholarships are being awarded to the children and spouses of our military heroes! This week, I’m honored to introduce one of the Hills Bros. Homefront Heroes/ThanksUSA Scholarship recipients, Dominic Wetzbarger.

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Dominic’s father, David, dedicated 28 years of service to our nation as a member of the Army National Guard and recently retired as a Command Sergeant Major for the Recruiting Retention Battalion for the Iowa Army National Guard. Dominic is proud of his father’s military career and very appreciative of ThanksUSA and Hills Bros. for supporting our military family members.

“The $3,000 Hills Bros. Homefront Heroes/ThanksUSA Scholarship will help me with my education by providing additional financial assistance. Scholarships help college students jump-start their career because they have less debt to worry about after college. When I start my own career, I will look to helping those college students in need of financial assistance, in other words giving back to the community,” says Dominic.

Currently in his junior year of Accounting and Business Management studies at Briar Cliff University, Dominic is looking forward to graduating with honors and earning enough credit hours to sit for the CPA exam. He then plans to earn his MBA and pursue a career as an accountant.

Dominic’s interest in accounting and business management grew from his experience at Hy-Vee, Inc. He started as a cashier and quickly moved to counting drawers. He was soon working as Cash Accountability, verifying that the cash amounts, checks, coupons, and charges balanced for the entire store. Dominic takes great pride in his responsibilities and reports that seeing a register balance out is quite satisfying.

This past summer Dominic interned with Hy-Vee, giving him even more insight to the accounting details of a business. He explains, “Every aspect of a business is essential to achieve success. My internship experience made me appreciate all that accountants do.”

Although dedicated to achieving academic success, Dominic always makes time for his athletic passion, soccer. He is a member of Briar Cliff University’s Men’s Soccer Team and helps coach the Bishop Heelen Boys Soccer team. Dominic is so dedicated to the sport that he plans to obtain his license to coach youth/young adult soccer. He says, “What’s important for soccer coaches at my age to do is to set an example and be a role model to the younger generation.”

Young soccer players will certainly benefit from having such a respectable coach. The ThanksUSA team is proud to support the educational pursuits of men and women like Dominic and we encourage you to share ThanksUSA’s mission with your friends and colleagues. To learn more about our scholarship recipients, subscribe to the Scholarship News blog and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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It’s not too late to get your tickets for the 2nd Annual Danbury AHEPA Cigar Night Fundraiser! The Danbury, Connecticut, chapter of AHEPA will host the  cigar fundraiser on Thursday, October 4th, at The Amber Room Colonnade. Tickets are $110 per person and proceeds will once again benefit ThanksUSA’s mission to provide scholarships to the dependent children and spouses of our military personnel. Admission includes a pack of assorted Rocky Patel Cigars, top shelf open bar, assorted cheeses and greek appetizers, hot hors d’oeuvres, carving station with prime rib and pork, salad station, grilled vegetables, french fry bar, coffee and dessert. Smoking is segregated to a beautiful, outdoor, covered patio, so non-smokers will be comfortable attending as well.

This year’s AHEPA Cigar Night will feature a very special guest speaker, Ed Silverman. Mr. Silverman is a distinguished broadcast journalist, documentarian, and accomplished author. The 11 time Emmy award winner covered some of America’s most historical events during the Golden Age of radio and television. He was the first on the air for ABC TV during the JFK assassination, covered the trial of Jack Ruby, and even broadcast the America’s Cup Race from the Goodyear Blimp.

With a 50+ year career, Mr. Silverman has some wonderful stories to share! Don’t miss your opportunity to meet this witness to history, enjoy fine cigars, delicious food, and friendly networking, all while raising funds for ThanksUSA.

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Welcome back to Scholarship News! Now that ThanksUSA scholarship recipients are adjusted to campus life and have established their routines, I will post this weekly feature to introduce supporters to some of our outstanding scholars. Thanks to the generosity of our corporate sponsors, individual supporters, and fundraising campaigns, ThanksUSA was able to award over 300 scholarships for the 2012-2013 academic year!

For the first installment of 2012-13, I am honored to introduce Army dependent Danielle Lomax. Danielle received a $3,000 Folds of Honor Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship to continue her Public Relations and Sports Management studies at Howard University. This week, the “young urban professional with a passion for public relations, community relations, and sports management,” shares some her recent academic accomplishments and lets her military pride shine.

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Danielle was just a freshman in high school when her father, LTC Dwight Lomax, USA (Ret), deployed to Afghanistan. She recounts, “It was definitely one of the hardest experiences that I have ever had to endure. I spent an entire year cringing every time the telephone or doorbell rang. I am so grateful that my father was able to return to the U.S. safely. Some families haven’t been as fortunate as mine.”

Though he retired from the Army a few years ago, LTC Lomax’s dedication to military service continues. Dedicated to creating future leaders through education, he spearheaded the first JROTC class at Lake Braddock Secondary in Burke, Virginia.

Danielle’s pride in her father and his Army career are evident. When asked about being raised in the military, Danielle said, “My dad’s service in the US Army has awarded him with the opportunity to travel the world and meet a plethora of influential people including my amazing mother (who has also served in the US Army). He is the first member of his family to not only serve in the military but to also receive a college diploma.”

Grateful for her own opportunity to attend college, Danielle knew the importance of pursuing the right major. Since childhood, she had been interested in sports. She played soccer, learned tae kwon do, and became a cheerleader. Though her participation in multiple sports was rewarding, Danielle realized that she was much more interested in what was going on “behind the scenes.” She soon discovered that an academic focus in the field of sports management would be the perfect fit.

Currently in her junior year at Howard, Danielle has already gained valuable experience in preparation for a successful career. Last year, she served as the Athletics Coordinator for the Howard University Student Association. The role gave her the opportunity to “market” Howard’s sports program by hosting events and programs that eliminated the gap between student-athletes and the rest of the student body.

Danielle also interned with the Sports Programming department at Sirius XM. She reports, “Interning with Sirius XM provided my first glimpse of the world of sports business.” She also began a blog, American Sports Addiction (click to visit), which she explains, “exposes Internet readers to (sports) issues that don’t usually make headline news.”

Many sports enthusiasts would be envious of Danielle’s recent study abroad in London during the 2012 Summer Olympics. “Studying abroad during the Summer Olympics introduced me to the global sports market. It definitely broadened my view of the sports industry and solidified my decision of entering the sports marketing industry. Sports are one of the few commonalities that connect people from every corner of the globe,” she says.

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Broadening her education through such experiences has encouraged Danielle to consider employment outside of the United States. She explains, “As we move toward a more globalized economy, we must continue to be open to working with other cultures in foreign environments.”

Danielle will certainly be entering a more competitive job market if she seeks international employment. She has already proven herself to be a dedicated student and has made time to participate in campus organizations such as the Student Association, Honors Program, Alpha Kappa Psi professional business fraternity, Public Relations Student Society of America, and Management Leadership for Tomorrow.

Danielle maintains a balance between academics, organizational participation, and her social life through strict time management. She advises, “Whether you’re using a tablet, smart phone, laptop or an old school planner, use it to plan your day. I live by a planner. My day is programmed and synchronized from the minute that I wake up. Organization is key.”

Danielle’s discipline, work ethic, and self-motivation have helped her become the successful, confident scholar that she is today. The ThanksUSA team congratulates Danielle on receipt of her Folds of Honor Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship and we encourage you to continue your support of military dependents like her.

“I am very grateful for organizations such as ThanksUSA. It’s no secret that the cost of a attaining an education increases each year. As a college junior in the Nation’s Capitol, I am often faced with financial hardships. The Folds of Honor Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship will help pay for my tuition for the fall semester.” – Danielle Lomax

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