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Veterans Advantage is proud to announce three winners of its scholarship program for 2012, once again recognizing and rewarding the unique form of academic excellence that comes from families represented by military service.
“There’s no better way to illustrate the impact of Veterans service on our country than to look at higher education in America,” said H. Scott Higgins, founder and CEO of Veterans Advantage, and a Vietnam Veteran. “The future is bright thanks to the millions of students pointing to the influence of military principles, and we believe the coming years will demonstrate that more than ever before.”
Leading the list of award winners is Claire Lauren Coker, currently a student at Blinn College and driving towards a bachelor’s degree in business, who is “confident that my experiences as a military family member have injected the skills and mentality to complete the mission.”
She points to childhood memories living at Ft. Campbell, KY, while also taking class at a DoD facility, which have prepared her for future academic challenges. She also credits Dad’s example and those of other families with similar experiences.
“For years, I watched my father deploy in and out of combat zones, sustain injuries, overcome those injuries, and redeploy. Not once did I see his dedication to mission falter. My father was not alone, there were many families that encountered the same experience and displayed the same resolve,” she said in her winning-essay for Veterans Advantage.
On a deeper level, she also spoke of her father’s Commissioned Officer’s creed, and the principles of duty and mission that he has brought to the family.
“I recognize that no matter how large or small the task may be, commitment and dedication will carry you through hardship and adversity,” she added.
Similarly, Mitchell Drew Moore, a student at Rogers State University in Oklahoma, is extremely goal oriented. He juggles a demanding 16-hour semester schedule during the school year, and two jobs in the summer. Combine that with extra-curricular activities and you have a committed and determined individual who wants to attend medical school.
In the day to day, he credits a meticulous schedule based on discipline and time management skills, but in the grander picture, it represents the fruits of his father’s military training – 20 years in the United States Air Force.
“Hard work, discipline, and leadership have been the core qualities of my success as a student. I was not born with these traits; they have been instilled by my father. His experience in the military along with the service he has accomplished is the foundation that have influenced my educational goals and made me a better student,” said Moore.
“With the amount of time I apply to my studies and extra-curricular activities I participate in, it is nearly impossible to adequately hold a job,” he added. “The [Veterans Advantage] scholarship would deliver relief that nothing else would.”
Jose Miranda, a Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is another fitting example of military service influencing the family. He is the father of three, currently enrolled in National University in San Diego, and speaks of two families: His own, and the U.S. military.
“You would think that the military only train for combat, but it becomes your new family. They become your educators of life. From the moment you join the brotherhood of the service you are being taught everything you need to know to be successful. Their mission is not only of your success in your job or your branch of service, but in your life,” said Miranda, a fifteen-year veteran.
“The military teaches you how to be financially responsible, honest, and prideful. They always want you to push on to the next level of success. They preach the importance of knowledge is power and drive you to reach high levels of education,” he added.
Veterans Advantage supports higher education in a number of ways. It recently announced a partnership with the State of Connecticut to fund scholarships for residents in that state. It partnered with Syracuse University to deploy free Veterans Advantage memberships to Syracuse students, staff and faculty who have served our nation, and serves as a model for other schools to do the same.
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