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JB Charleston military kid wins Exchange’s grand prize for academic excellence

  • Published
  • Army and Air Force Exchange Service Public Affairs

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service has honored a Joint Base Charleston 10-year-old for his outstanding academic achievements, awarding him a $2,000 grand prize.


Fifth-grader, Gerald Wells, received the grand prize in the worldwide “You Made the Grade” sweepstakes Aug. 1 at the JB Charleston Exchange. 628th Mission Support Group Commander Col. Rockie Wilson, AAFES Regional Vice President Tony Pares and JB Charleston Exchange General Manager Katy Litterer, presented Gerald with his prize.


“I believed that, if I entered, I had a chance to win,” said Gerald, who heard about the contest from one of his sisters. “I was surprised when my parents told me that I won the first prize, but I knew that this was real.” 


Gerald, 10, is the son of retired Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Gerald Wells Sr. and his wife, Dawn. Wells Sr., a former logistics specialist, served in the Navy for 20 years. 

Gerald attends Windsor Hill Elementary School in North Charleston, belongs to the Science Club and is a recipient of honor roll and citizenship awards. His AAFES grand prize came at a good time. He plans on putting it toward clothes and shoes for the upcoming school year—and a few toys.


“It’s exciting to recognize Gerald for his academic achievements,” Litterer said. “There’s no better way to encourage young students than to give them a chance to be rewarded for their diligence in their school work.”


Through the Exchange’s “You Made the Grade” program, 1st- through 12th-graders with a "B" average or higher are eligible to enter the sweepstakes for a chance at a $2,000, $1,500 or $500 Exchange gift card. Gerald was randomly selected as the grand-prize winner from more than 900 entries.

For more information about the "You Made the Grade" program, students and guardians can contact the Joint Base Charleston Exchange at 843-552-5000.