Posts Tagged ‘Navy’

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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Today is #GivingTuesday and ThanksUSA has joined with thousands of non-profits around the country to celebrate this national movement dedicated to celebrating giving and volunteering.

Together we can support the men and women of the U.S. military by providing their families with the gift of a college scholarship.

Give The Gift of Gab

Donate your Facebook status or Tweet – tell your friends about how you support military families with ThanksUSA
Follow ThanksUSA on social media
Twitter – @ThanksUSA
Facebook /ThanksUSA
Share your #unselfie on social media – Take a pic, tag it #unselfie #givingtuesday and #ThanksUSA and upload it to your social networks.


Help us give a gift that will last well beyond the holiday season.


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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.”
Dyune and Amy Martinez

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Orren_Charlotte 2012.

Navy dependent Charlotte Orren is a patriotic young woman who plans to serve our great nation as an Aerospace Engineer. She envisions more energy-efficient engines, advances in aircraft design, and sub-orbital space flights for commercial passengers. To help make her dreams a reality, Charlotte has applied her $3,000 Folds of Honor Foundation/ThanksUSA scholarship to continue her studies at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.


Though her academic success is clearly her own, Charlotte reports that her father’s career was an influence in choosing her major. Commander Scott Orren, USN (Ret), amassed over 21 years of aeronautical expertise as a naval aviator and engineer. As Charlotte considered college majors, CDR Orren took the time to explain the many facets of engineering and aerodynamics.

Taking a serious interest in airframe design, Charlotte chose to major in aerospace engineering with the goal of working with industry leaders to design advanced airframe technologies for our Armed Services. Now in her sophomore year, she has an impressive GPA, represents her campus through student organizations, and is a student athlete.

Charlotte’s athleticism began with tennis at a very early age. After playing for several years though, she realized that her heart just wasn’t into it. Although she had played an occasional round of golf over the years, she hadn’t really worked on improving her game. By the age of thirteen, Charlotte began to take golf more seriously; developing skills and discipline that would carry over to her academic life. As a member of the Westview High School Girl’s Golf Team, Charlotte earned MVP honors and became a team captain.

When it was time for Charlotte to consider college, she knew that golf would remain an important factor in her post-secondary education.   With the mentoring of Head Coach Maria Lopez, Charlotte has been a member of the Embry-Riddle Eagles Women’s Golf Team since she entered college. Charlotte has a deep respect for her coach noting, “Coach Lopez saw something in me that I’m just now realizing, or seeing, in myself.”

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She has applied Coach Lopez’s patient guidance to every aspect of her life. In learning to remain positive and appreciate her own strengths, Charlotte gained great self esteem. Her newfound confidence challenged her to be more involved with campus activities and volunteerism in the surrounding community.

Team Run

Charlotte is a nominated student leader for Campus Outreach, works as a student assistant for Embry-Riddle’s Annual Giving department, and has even sung the National Anthem for Embry-Riddle sporting events! Charlotte is also an enthusiastic supporter of local charities, participating in various 5k runs and LPGA tournaments. Her favorite local event is the annual Thanksgiving Basket Brigade. She is just one of many Volusia County citizens who collect and deliver food and supplies to needy area families. Charlotte adds,Knowing I could be a person’s encouragement that day just by showing kindness blows me away every time.”

Charlotte singing the National Anthem (photo by Antoine Daugny)

Charlotte singing the national anthem (photo by Antoine Daugny)

Without a doubt, Charlotte is making the most of her time at Embry-Riddle. She says, “I am learning so many valuable lessons that I would not be able to learn anywhere else.” ThanksUSA is proud to support earnest military dependents like Charlotte. You can help provide the gift of education to military families by making your tax-deductible donation today.

Charlotte at work as a Student Assistant for Annual Giving Support“I am so thankful for the Folds of Honor Foundation/ThanksUSA scholarship. Growing up in a military family, I sincerely appreciate life as it is given to me, not something that is simply mine. I truly am receiving an education of a lifetime and priceless life lessons. I would sincerely like to thank you again for helping me continue my experience at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and shaping my future to the best it can be!”

— Charlotte Orren

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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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Hazel Anne Escusa dreams of earning her PhD. With the assistance of a $3000 Stephen Curry/ThanksUSA Scholarship, Hazel has begun her academic journey at the University of California: Berkeley where she is studying molecular and cellular biology. When stressed about tuition costs or a heavy study load, she reminds herself of the thousands of people that she may one day help because of her education.

Hazel Escusa (middle) with her proud family

Until she experienced high school biology and chemistry classes, Hazel found the sciences quite dull. Now, a few months into her freshman year of studies, Hazel proudly declares herself a ‘Science Nerd’ saying, “When the professor speaks about biology, I can feel my heart beat quickly with excitement.”

In addition to pursuing the major of molecular and cellular biology, Hazel has selected a study emphasis of immunology and pathogenesis. She is quite excited to explore these fields and conduct research which could  lead to the advanced treatment of autoimmune diseases. After completing her undergraduate studies, Hazel plans to begin a career of helping people by first joining the military, possibly the Navy or Air Force.

It may seem odd coming from someone who plans to join the service, but for a time in her life, Hazel resented military life. “I completely despised being a military child,” says Hazel. But all of that changed when her father, Chief Petty Officer Ernesto Escusa Jr, US Navy, received orders to Japan. At the time, Hazel was in her sophomore year of high school and wanted to graduate from the same school. It was a very difficult decision for the entire family, but the Escusas compromised and Hazel graduated as the 2011 Valedictorian of Channel Islands High School.

The experience was tough on Hazel, but she learned a great deal saying, “It taught me that my parents really did love me because they accepted being thousands of miles apart just so I could pursue my dreams.”

Hazel also learned to stay focused on her academic goals and has great advice for new college students, “Join organizations!” Hazel has already joined the Philipino Academic Student Services and American Medical Student Association-Berkeley Paramedical Chapter, volunteers through Rotaract and Youth IMPACT, and interns with Maganda Magazine.

“It gives me a busy schedule, but I think being involved on campus actually makes me stay focused. For instance, if I want to participate in an event, I know that I have to complete my homework and study first. It also helps me to be less homesick,” reports Hazel.

The ThanksUSA team is very impressed with Hazel’s passion for academic excellence. We hope that she continues to embrace her scientific studies with excitement and we look forward to seeing her achieve academic success! We leave you this week with a few words from Hazel:

“As a recipient of the Stephen Curry/ThanksUSA Scholarship, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for your support of the ThanksUSA Scholarship Program and its students. I can better focus on my school work knowing that my parents don’t have to work extra hours, or that I don’t have a big loan to pay back when I graduate from college. Thank You!”

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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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