By Mike Perron
Defense Commissary Agency
FORT LEE, Va., June 26, 2015 – 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 Used
No government funds are used to support the program. DeCA’s industry partners -- vendors, manufacturers, brokers and suppliers -- and the general public donate money to fund the program. 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’s deputy director and chief operating officer.
“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.”
Some 4,000 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,” Carr said.
Applications will be available in commissaries worldwide and online at http://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, a reservist, a Guardsman, a retiree or a survivor of a military member who died while on active duty or 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, officials said.