Posts Tagged ‘University of South Alabama’

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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Continuing last week’s focus on the Martinez family, I am pleased to introduce ThanksUSA scholar Aljo Victor Martinez. Aljo received a $3000 Blavatnik Family Foundation/ThanksUSA scholarship for the 2010 spring semester. Aljo actually received notification of his scholarship on Christmas Eve, 2009. “That Christmas will never be forgotten in our household. It assured me not to worry about school related needs for the 2010 spring semester,” says Aljo.

The Martinez family: Aljo, Allia, Dyune, Amy and Alden

As a Chemical Engineering major at the University of South Alabama, Aljo is fascinated by the intricacies of chemicals and their reactions to each other. Aljo explains, “When handled properly, chemicals benefit mankind. I realize how much of our daily lives depend so much on chemical engineering and I want to be a part of that.

Aljo is excelling at his studies and credits his involvement in the AFROTC Arnold Airs Honor Society, explaining, “The challenges and excitement of the program motivates me and helps with my focus. The camaraderie we have in the detachment is something I am thankful for. College life would have been very challenging for me without my new friends. Sharing the same goals and accountability help all of us to aim for excellence all the time.”

Aljo further explains that AFROTC has led him to consider a military career of his own. “I am enjoying every minute of it (AFROTC) and learning a great deal about leadership and discipline. I seriously would like to join the Air Force as an officer when I graduate from college. I believe in the United States and I will be honored and proud for an opportunity to serve her,” says Aljo.

As the son of a career Navy Chief, Aljo understands the challenges and rewards that come with a military career. Growing up in the Navy, Aljo moved quite often and is proud to have friendships in the U.S., Italy, and even Iceland. Aljo also reflects on his father’s career with great respect: “My father served in the United States Navy faithfully and proudly for 24 years. Early on, I really did not have a good grasp of the importance of his job…he was a Culinary Specialist Chief Petty Officer. Now I realized that his service was just as honorable as those who are in the front lines. He kept our Sailors and Marines fed with highly nutritious food daily which in turn played a significant role in every one of them to fulfill their duties and complete their missions.”

The ThanksUSA team recognizes and appreciates the role of every U.S. Service Member and we extend our sincerest thank you to CPO Alfredo Dyune Martinez, USN (Ret.), for his twenty-four years of service to our nation. I think that CPO Martinez and his wife, Amy, should also be commended for raising such focused and goal-oriented children; both Allia and Aljo are certainly on their way to success! We close this week with a thank-you from Aljo:

I would like to express my gratitude to ThanksUSA for their scholarship program. They are helping young people like me get closer to our goals and make our dreams a reality. I do not know where I would be right now if I did not receive this scholarship. I am so grateful for the Blavatnik Family Foundation as well – they helped make our Christmas unforgettable. We are truly grateful for kind-hearted and generous people who put their wealth to good use by investing in young dreamers like me. Thank you very much!

Remember, you too can help make scholarships possible for military dependents by making your tax-deductible donation today. Scholarship applications are now being accepted for the 2010/2011 academic year.

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This week, I’m pleased to introduce the Martinez family. Siblings Allia Grace and Aljo Victor each received ThanksUSA scholarships for the 2009/2010 academic year for studies at the University of South Alabama. The children of CPO Alfredo Dyune Martinez, U.S. Navy (Ret.), Allia and Aljo are eager to share their academic goals and achievements with ThanksUSA supporters. Since each of our scholars deserves recognition for their individual accomplishments, I begin this week with introducing Allia Grace Martinez.

The Martinez Family, (L to R) CPO Alfredo Dyune Martinez, USN (Ret.), wife Amy, children Aljo, Alden, and Allia

Allia began her college career at a private Christian college that did not accept outside scholarships; a policy that made it impossible for her to afford tuition. Now that she has transferred to the University of South Alabama, she is able to utilize her $3000 Military Connection/ThanksUSA Scholarship to study Biomedical Sciences. “In most cases, finances are tight for a family of five. This scholarship helped me stay in college. I am very grateful for Military Connections and ThanksUSA,” says Allia.

Although Allia is excited to explore all specializations of biomedical sciences, she is leaning toward pharmacy. “I find it very interesting how medications affect us and improve our daily lives. I would like to be a part of that endeavor and make a difference in people’s lives,” she says. As a volunteer Pharmacy tech at a local non-profit clinic, Allia is able to assist medically needy citizens. Allia loves helping others, explaining, “I am thankful for an opportunity to be a part of this worthy and noble cause. I would like to continue to have a positive impact on people’s lives.”

In addition to her volunteer Pharmacy work, Allia is very active with her church youth group. Their ministry brings Sunday Service to nursing home residents and shut-ins. For Allia, the most important part of the ministry is making sure that people feel they are not forgotten. “My grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and currently lives at a nursing home. The youth ministry is close and dear to my heart. I always think of my grandmother when we visit and meet the elderly at our local nursing home. I am confident that someone is showing the same kindness to her,” says Allia.

As the daughter of career sailor, Allia has moved across the country (from Washington to Florida) and across the globe (from Italy to Iceland). Although each move presented its own challenges, Allia appreciated the deep friendships she made with fellow military children. She observes, “We know our times together in one location will be short, so we tend to cultivate deeper bonds with each other. I can say now that I have friends all over the world and I thank the military for that. Those experiences and friendships are a precious part of our lives!”

The disciplined structure of the military also provided Allia with focus and determination. Through her hard work and diligence, she has maintained a 4.0 GPA and is on the President’s Scholars List. She is currently enrolled in the AFROTC program and has been accepted to the Arnold Airs Honor Society. “College life helped me see and take advantage of the great opportunities available. I see how hard work is rewarded and it motivates me to keep pursuing excellence,” remarks Allia. She is also considering a military career of her own in the U.S. Air Force.

Allia closes our blog with a heartfelt thank-you:

I would like to express my gratitude to Military Connections and ThanksUSA for their generosity. Its compassionate organizations like them who truly make a difference in helping people pursue their dreams of higher education. Thank you so much!

Allia, thank you for sharing with us.  We hope you continue to excel at your studies while making a difference in the lives of so many. ThanksUSA is continuing our mission of “paying-it-forward” by accepting scholarship applications for the 2010/2011 academic year. Applications will be accepted online until May 15, 2010. Please visit the Scholarship News blog next week to meet Allia’s brother, Aljo Victor.

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