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Posts Tagged ‘Victoria Hokanson’

Maria Barrameda, VADM Richard W. Hunt, USN, Victoria Hokanson

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On behalf of the entire ThanksUSA team, I wish to extend my sincere appreciation to Maria Margarita Barrameda and Victoria Hokanson for representing ThanksUSA Scholarship recipients at the Marines’ Memorial Club in San Francisco this weekend. Both Maria and Victoria joined co-hosts Ray Polin and Bob Okun for a special dinner introducing the 2011 ThanksUSA San Francisco Golf Classic. Thank you to our sponsors for the evening Russell Investments and Entertainment Software Association, and to the ThanksUSA supporters and guests who enjoyed the evening.

Maria Barrameda, RADM John Bitoff (USN, Ret), Victoria Hokanson

RADM Richard Buchanan (USN, Ret), Bob Okun, Maria Barrameda, Victoria Hokanson, Ray Polin

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Everyone smiles in the same language and Victoria Hokanson wants to make sure that children are able to smile with confidence. With the help of a $3000 ESA Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship, Victoria has begun her Chemistry studies at the University of San Diego. After completing her undergraduate studies, Victoria plans to attend dental school and eventually open her own orthodontics practice.

Victoria Hokanson

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Victoria wished to extend her gratitude to the ESA Foundation for funding her ThanksUSA scholarship saying, “Receiving this scholarship was such an honor. I was set on attending USD knowing that I would be undertaking the burden of student loans. The ESA Foundation/ThanksUSA Scholarship has helped to reduce the amount of money that I had to take out in loans and will ultimately help me in the long run when I am trying to pay off student loans and start my own practice.”

I think you’ll agree that Victoria has a beautiful smile, but according to her, this was not always the case. When she was five years old, Victoria ran into a table and damaged her entire row of front teeth. Since she was just five years old, she had to wait several years until orthodontics were an option.

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Victoria explains, “A smile is the first that I notice when I meet someone. Before braces, I was very self-conscious about the way that my teeth looked and I was embarrassed to smile. Needless to say, braces changed my life. They straightened my teeth and made me less self-conscious about smiling in front of others. Since then, I have been interested in making that difference in the lives of other children who suffer from a lack of confidence because of their smile. I loved my orthodontist and would like to be like him in the future. In ten years, I hope to have completed dental school and opened my own dental or orthodontic practice.”

As the daughter of an Army National Guardsman, Victoria is used to embracing change and credits her military upbringing with making the college transition easier. “I definitely think that military life prepared me for college. I miss my family dearly, but the transition was much easier because I have been accustomed to moving frequently. It was not that different from any other move.” Now, just two months into life as an undergrad, Victoria has already joined the USD Dental Club and is in the process of applying to be in the Student Ambassador’s Club. She also plans to join a sorority during the spring semester.

Although most military dependents find the college transition less stressful, the reasons for this vary greatly. I asked Victoria to speak a bit about her own family’s military experience and she proudly responded, “Life as a military child is different from growing up as a civilian child. My father was PCS’d frequently so my family and I moved just about every year until I began high school. I attended 10 schools and have moved 11 times. This has made it very easy for me to adapt to my surroundings and helped to give me confidence to go out of my way to meet others and work for something if I want it. For the most part I loved moving and wouldn’t have done it any differently if I had the choice. The opportunities I was exposed to outweighed any struggle. In high school my dad was a part of the search and rescue team who saved stranded hikers or people lost in the wilderness. Knowing the impact he had on the lives of those people and their families made me very proud to be a part of a military family. I have become very patriotic, mainly from my experience living on base and attending ceremonies. What the military and their families sacrifice for our country is incredible and I become more grateful of our country and its military every day.”

Thank you, Victoria, ThanksUSA and our sponsors/supporters feel the same way about our nation and military families! ThanksUSA is honored to be a part of your educational journey and we wish you all the best in completing your studies and bringing out the beautiful smiles of children!

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