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Posts Tagged ‘Senator Ted Stevens Memorial Scholarship’

Hundreds of Military Children and Spouses to Receive College Scholarships
in ThanksUSA’s Seventh National Competition

Washington, DC, March 30, 2012 – The seventh annual ThanksUSA scholarship application season opens on April 1, 2012, giving families of U.S. troops the opportunity to pursue post-secondary education. This year’s competition boasts more support than ever, thanks to new sponsors and fundraising events.

A charitable effort that mobilizes Americans of all ages to “thank” our active-duty service men and women, ThanksUSA provides scholarships to the children and spouses of military personnel across all the Armed Forces, including the National Guard and Reserves and the families of the fallen and wounded. Applications will be accepted through May 15, 2012, online at www.ThanksUSA.org.

“We are thrilled to be offering scholarships to university, college, and vocational school students, marking our seventh year in this national campaign to thank our troops by giving the gift of education to their families,” said Bob Okun, chairman and CEO of ThanksUSA. “This year we are buoyed by new partners and events, including Hills Brothers Coffee, our Irish-American Awards, a country music benefit concert and the ‘Tennis Thanks the Troops’ campaign.”

Hills Bros. Homefront Heroes – Hills Bros. Coffee has partnered with ThanksUSA on a nationwide drive to help dozens more applicants win individual scholarship awards of $3,000 each. “Hills Bros. Coffee is proud to support the efforts of ThanksUSA and sponsor 50 scholarships for military families through the Hills Bros. Homefront Heroes campaign,” said Sarah Mullin, brand manager of Hills Bros. Coffee.

Irish-American Public Service Awards – ThanksUSA held their inaugural Irish-American Public Service Awards in March, sponsored by the Blavatnik Family Foundation. The St. Patrick’s Day celebrations honored Representative Jerry Lewis (R-CA) and Governors Jim McDonnell (R-VA) and Martin O’Malley (D-MD) for their outstanding public service on the national stage and in their respective states and for their dedication to America’s service men and women.

• “Tennis Thanks the Troops” – The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) and the United States Tennis Association Mid-Atlantic (USTA Mid-Atlantic) will jointly champion “Tennis Thanks the Troops” to benefit ThanksUSA. Over Memorial Day weekend and throughout the year, tennis enthusiasts will be able to participate in a number of tournaments and activities with a minimum donation of $5. “Tennis pros, players and fans will be giving back to our troops by enjoying the sport they love,” said Tim Heckler, CEO of USPTA. “Raising our rackets for our military heroes and their families is our way of showing how much we appreciate their sacrifices both in the world’s hot spots and at home.” The Bryan Brothers “Tennis Thanks the Troops” PSA will begin running on the Tennis Channel in April.

Country Music Benefit Concert – The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and ThanksUSA will hold a concert in support of military families to kick off the NAB Show in Las Vegas in April. The concert will feature country music talents Rodney Atkins and a performance by Texas and Nashville singer-songwriter Lucas Hoge.

Second Year Scholarships – This year marks the second year of scholarships in honor of the late Senator Ted Stevens and another generous donation from Kaplan University. “Military families have sacrificed tremendously during the last 10 years, and they ask for little in return,” said Scott Kilgore, senior vice president of military affairs, Kaplan University. “These scholarships will help enable them to pursue their educational goals. It’s an honor to work with ThanksUSA in providing this opportunity again in 2012.”

ThanksUSA was launched by two Virginia girls who wanted to thank our troops for defending our nation and its freedoms. Since its inception in 2006, the 501(c)(3) non-profit, has provided nearly $7.5 million in scholarship assistance to military families throughout all 50 states and the District of Columbia, with particular attention given to those whose loved one was killed or wounded in action.

“The generosity of the American spirit is wonderful. Every year individuals, foundations and our partner corporations make it possible to support our military families who give each of us so much through their selfless service,” said Michele Stork, executive director of ThanksUSA. “In 2012 we look forward to awarding up to 500 scholarships, totaling $1.5 million.”

Continued support for ThanksUSA’s education goals comes from donors including the ESA Foundation, Goldman Sachs Gives, Folds of Honor Foundation, No Greater Sacrifice Foundation, Lockheed Martin, Paladin Capital Group, the Apollo Group, the Rumsfeld Foundation, CSC, Intelligent Decisions, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP and others.

For more information, eligibility requirements and to apply online, 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 visit http://www.ThanksUSA.org.

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Army dependent Amber Birden received a $3,000 Altria Group/Senator Ted Stevens Memorial Scholarship through ThanksUSA to continue her Elementary Education studies at Fayetteville State University. Taking inspiration from her family, Amber plans to become an elementary school science teacher who will prepare her students for a life of learning.

Throughout her life, Amber has witnessed her mother’s selfless dedication to children. Seeing her mother’s impact on young students motivated Amber to major in elementary education. Amber chose a concentration in biology and explains, “I believe science is essential for all children to learn and will prepare them with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed as adults. Also, as an elementary school teacher I plan to set the foundation for their academic success.”

As an Army dependent, much of Amber’s early learning took place in Department of Defense Dependent Schools. Since she is attending FSU, Amber has the opportunity to student teach at nearby Ft. Bragg. She believes that her past experiences will help her connect with military dependent students, especially those dealing with deployments or relocation. Ultimately, Amber plans to earn her Master’s of Education and pursue a career overseas in DoDDS Europe and Pacific Schools.

For now, Amber is busy challenging herself academically. As a Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program Scholar, Amber conducts independent research through the Institute of Undergraduate Research. She is also a member of the FSU Honors Program and Honors Council. She has served as an Orientation Leader and Supplemental Instructor, and is a member of Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and Bronco Women. As a Chancellor’s scholar, Amber also experienced a study abroad in Spain.

Although Amber is clearly an accomplished young woman, she is quick to praise her parents for instilling the values that have led her to this point. Amber says, “My father served in the Army for over 20 years. Through this time my parents instilled the values of loyalty, duty, respect, selflessness, service, honor, integrity, and personal courage, and to live by these values every day. I believe that what my father learned in the Army is a part of the reason for my success in school and my motivation to excel academically.”

Amber plans to take those values to the classroom and adds, “Growing up as a military child, I was exposed to many different cultures and had the opportunity to meet people of different nationalities, making me unbiased to different cultures. This life experience was the foundation of me wanting to promote diversity. I plan to use the skills instilled in me to help me become an effective and engaging educator.”

With clearly defined goals and the drive to succeed, Amber will surely continue to achieve academic success and her future students will be lucky to have such a devoted teacher. ThanksUSA scholarship applications for the 2012-2013 academic year will be accepted online at http://www.ThanksUSA.org between April 1st and May 15th, 2012. Potential applicants can register for an email reminder here.

To conclude this week’s Scholarship News blog, Amber explains how the ThanksUSA scholarship has positively affected her education:

“Receiving the Altria Group/Senator Ted Stevens Memorial Scholarship through ThanksUSA has allowed me to focus more on my studies, take out fewer loans, and not worry about the financial burden of college.  Thank you for having this program for dependents of service members of all branches of the military. I am grateful to be a recipient of a ThanksUSA Scholarship!”

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