FORT LEE, Va., 2015-6-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — Seven hundred students of military families will each receive a $2,000 scholarship this year thanks to the 2015 Scholarships for Military Children program.
The scholarship, created in 2001, recognizes the contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force and celebrates the commissary’s role in enhancing military quality of life.
“The scholarship program helps improve educational opportunities for military children,” said Marye Carr, Defense Commissary Agency liaison for the program. “And, at DeCA we are proud to be a small part of honoring the best and the brightest young students in our military communities.”
No government funds are used to support the program. DeCA’s industry partners – vendors, manufacturers, brokers, suppliers – and the general public donate money to fund the program, and every dollar donated goes directly to funding the scholarships.
“I’ve always been amazed and impressed with the intelligence, the creativity and the dedication, the pursuit of scholastic excellence shown by these students,” said Michael J. Dowling, DeCA deputy director and COO.
“Our stores host awards ceremonies for scholarship recipients,” Dowling added, “and we all recognize the support of the many folks – our industry partners and the Fisher House Foundation – for making the scholarship possible.” The scholarship program is administered by Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to service members and their families.
“The competition among applicants was keen,” said Fisher House Foundation Vice President Jim Weiskopf. “Those who were selected had excellent grades, had leadership positions in school extracurricular activities and were active volunteers in their communities. Some had full-time or part-time work experience. All wrote thoughtful, well-researched essays.”
Four thousand applications were submitted for this year’s scholarships. The number of scholarship awards each year is based on funds available, but the program awards at least $2,000 at each military commissary. If there are no eligible applicants from a given commissary, the funds designated for that commissary are awarded as an additional scholarship at a different store.
Planning for next year’s program is underway, and an announcement of open dates to apply is usually made in the fall. “For the coming year’s scholarship program, we will remind students the program is open with banners at commissary entrances,” said Carr.
Applications will be available in commissaries worldwide and online at www.militaryscholar.org. To apply for a scholarship, a student must be a dependent, unmarried child, younger than 21 – or 23, if already enrolled as a full-time student at a college or university – of a service member on active duty, reservist, guardsman, retiree or survivor of a military member who died while on active duty or survivor of a retiree.
Applicants should ensure that they, as well as their sponsor, are enrolled in the DEERS database and have a current military ID card.
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Authorized patrons purchase items at cost plus a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. Shoppers save an average of more than 30 percent on their purchases compared to commercial prices – savings amounting to thousands of dollars annually. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.
Kevin L. Robinson
(804) 734-8000, Ext. 4-8773