NEWS | May 19, 2014

Scholarship program helps students pay for college

By Kevin Robinson DeCA Public Affairs specialist

Six hundred children from the military community are receiving about $1.2 million in financial assistance thanks to this year's Scholarships for Military Children program.

Since its start in 2001, the Scholarships for Military Children program has awarded about $14.5 million in scholarships to more than 8,000 children of active duty, Guard and Reserve and retired service members worldwide. This year, the scholarship amount per recipient increased from $1,500 to $2,000.

The Defense Commissary Agency participates in the program by accepting applications from eligible children and submitting their packages to Scholarship Managers, a national, nonprofit, scholarship management services organization. DeCA Director and CEO Joseph Jeu thanked the agency's industry partners who help bolster the scholarship program with their corporate donations, at the 2014 Commissary Roundtable event on May 1 in Richmond, Va.

"You've always put your best foot forward when taking care of military families," Jeu said to an audience of commissary employees and industry members. "Scholarships [for Military Children] are one of those examples of supporting military families. ... I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support."

Commissary vendors, manufacturers, brokers, suppliers and the general public fund the program through donations. And, all donations are applied solely to funding the scholarships, said Jim Weiskopf, vice president of Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that assists family members with temporary lodging when they visit hospitalized service members. The Fisher House Foundation sponsors the administration of the scholarships program.

"[The scholarship] is an investment in education; it is an investment in military quality of life; it is an investment in our future," Weiskopf said during the scholarship luncheon at the Commissary Roundtable.

During the selection process, Scholarship Managers reviews the applicants' grade-point averages, their extracurricular and volunteer activities, and their essays. To see winners of the 2014 Scholarships for Military Children program, go to http://www.militaryscholar.org/sfmc/winners14.html.