One of the military community's premier benefits has become even more valuable to 670 college and high school students. The annual Scholarships for Military Children Program winners have been announced and the "Honor Roll" is impressive. Over 5,000 students applied for the scholarships at commissary locations worldwide. All of the recipients are listed at www.militaryscholar.org, the official website for the program.

Rachel Cummings of Hanceville is a recipient of a $1,500 college scholarship awarded at Redstone Arsenal. Redstone Arsenal is one of over 250 commissaries operated worldwide by the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA). Rachel's parents are William Hastie and Tammi Hastie. Rachel is enrolled, or plans to enroll, at University of Alabama. Rachel's school and community activities include: NHS; SGA, President; Leo Club, VP; Math Team; Student Trainer.

The Scholarships for Military Children Program was initiated in 2000 to award scholarships to graduating high school seniors or college-enrolled students. The scholarship program is open to qualified sons and daughters of members of the U.S. Armed Services including active duty, retirees, guard/reserves, as well as children of deceased military personnel. Applications are turned in through commissaries.

Applicants for the 2012 program were required to maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average, participate in voluntary school and community activities, demonstrate leadership qualities, and write an essay on "Whose four (4) faces would you place on a 21st Century Mount Rushmore type of monument, and why? The persons must be non-fictional, US citizens, male or female — the time frame for selection is 1850 to 2011."

Manufacturers and organizations that do business with the commissary system funded the scholarships with money ordinarily used for various other contests and promotions. Rachel's scholarship at Redstone Arsenal was funded through the generosity of Procter & Gamble.

The Fisher House Foundation administers the Scholarships for Military Children Program through Scholarship Managers, a professional scholarship management services organization. Fisher House is known for building the military comfort homes near military medical facilities.

As in prior year programs, the level of competition continues to be very keen. "The cumulative GPA remains in the 3.7 to 3.9 range," said Bernard T. Cote, President of Scholarship Managers. "As in all prior years, the caliber of the applicants to the 'Scholarships for Military Children Program' continues to be a step above those students who apply to the many other scholarship programs we administer."

 

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