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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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For the third consecutive year, the Northern Virginia Community College Educational Foundation and NVCC’s Student Financial Office has joined ThanksUSA in awarding the $4000 Linda J. Romero/ThanksUSA Scholarship.

I’m very pleased to introduce the 2011/2012 Linda J. Romero/ThanksUSA Scholarship recipient, Susann Krawczak. With detail-oriented focus, Susann is pursuing her Associates of Applied Science in Engineering Technology with a Drafting Specialization.

Married to LTC Douglas Krawczak, U.S. Army, Susann has traveled the world in support of her husband’s career. After eighteen years as a stay-at-home mom to the couple’s three boys, Susann is very eager to reenter the workforce.

The Krawczak Family (Douglas, Susann, William, Martin, & Andreas)

Douglas and Susann’s sons, William (18), Martin (16), and Andreas (10), were quite surprised when Susann decided to return to school. Susann reports, “They only knew me as ‘mom’ and never imagined that I’d actually want to work outside of the home.”

Not only did Susann want to work outside the home, she was already planning for a high-demand, portable career that would give her job stability. Understanding that military equipment and technologies need to be updated constantly, Susann knew that engineering technology was the career for her.

Since beginning her studies at NVCC last summer, Susann has maintained a perfect GPA. She credits her success with a meticulous eye for detail and good communication skills. Susann explained that producing a finished product is very time-consuming and requires detailed back-and-forth discussion between the technologist and the engineer. The technologist must research materials, determine specifications, and refine ideas to accomplish a finished project. She is eager for the opportunity  to work closely with engineers to turn design concepts into real-world objects. Upon graduation, Susann hopes to use her strengths as a draftsman to work as a designer refining projects in support of the military.

The ThanksUSA team thanks NVCC for their continued support. Certainly, Susann is a deserving and dedicated student who serves as a great representation of ThanksUSA scholars. Susann, we wish you continued academic success and look forward to hearing about your subsequent career.

In closing, a few words from Susann:

“I was extremely pleased to hear that I received the ThanksUSA Scholarship. This scholarship has motivated me to continue my work towards a degree in Engineering Technology. After being out of the work force for some years and relocating to different locations in the U.S. and Europe every few years, it has been difficult to maintain my engineering technology skills.

Initially, I chose to concentrate on raising my three sons. Returning to school full-time has been a real adjustment and challenge. I plan to complete my degree in 2013 and this scholarship really helps. I am very thankful for being chosen as a recipient of this scholarship and look forward to joining the workforce once again.”

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Applications for the 2011 ThanksUSA Scholarship Program Now Open!

Samuel McKearn - future ThanksUSA Scholarship applicant

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

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

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

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

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

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Scholarship News

This year, the Northern Virginia Community College Education Foundation and NVCC’s Financial Aid Office joined ThanksUSA to offer the Linda J. Romeo/ThanksUSA Scholarship. This week, I’m pleased to introduce you to the recipient of this $4000 scholarship, Amanda Smith.

Amanda Smith with her family

Amanda Smith with her family

Since the seventh grade, Amanda has been fascinated by biology and its significance in everyday life. She is currently pursuing her Associate of Science Degree at the Woodbridge Campus of NVCC, where she maintains a 4.0 GPA. In addition to being a dedicated student, Amanda is also the mother of two beautiful children and the wife of U.S. Marine, Quentin Smith.

Quentin has served with the U.S. Marine Corps since 2001 and is a precision weapons technician. Quentin’s military career has included deployments to Iraq and Kuwait. With another deployment scheduled later this year, Amanda had to carefully consider the financial impact that attending school would have on her family. Not only did she have to evaluate tuition costs, but she also had to budget for childcare. As Amanda says, “Being a military spouse and mother makes it hard to decide whether or not to earn a college degree. In the end, I know it will be the right thing to do. I am very grateful for all the people who make ThanksUSA possible. I know there are many military spouses and military children who are appreciative of organizations like ThanksUSA! ”

After completing her A.S., Amanda plans to attend a four year university and earn her Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. Eventually, Amanda hopes to become a high school Biology teacher and inspire the next generation of eager minds. Amanda adds, “I think education is so important and teachers make all the difference in the world!”

The Linda J. Romeo/ThanksUSA Scholarship has proven to be an added source of strength and inspiration for Amanda. With financial burdens lifted, she is more determined than ever to prove to herself, her family, and ThanksUSA supporters, that she can maintain her high GPA and achieve all the academic goals that she has set for herself.

On September 28th, Amanda will have the opportunity to share her goals and gratitude with ThanksUSA supporters at our annual Fall Golf Tournament. This year’s tournament, hosted by Intelligent Decisions, will be held at The Club at Creighton Farms in Aldie, VA. To learn more about the tournament, please visit our events page.

The ThanksUSA team would like to commend Amanda on the successful beginning of her college career. We would also like to join Amanda in thanking Northern Virginia Community College for supporting our military families and ThanksUSA!

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