By Blair Dupre, Sentinel Living Editor
Twenty-seven high school students and one military spouse were awarded scholarships from the Fort Hood Military Family Member Scholarship Fund at the Spirit of Fort Hood Chapel, May 24.
The FHMFMSF awarded a combined total of $56,750 in scholarships to the 28 recipients.
“We know your high school and college education have not been typical in any sense of the word with the COVID pandemic. However, here you are pushing forward with grit and determination,” Angel Eagan, vice president of the Fort Hood Military Family Member Scholarship Fund, said to the recipients. “Our board congratulates you and is extremely proud of all the adversity you had to overcome through the past couple of years.”
In fact, the ceremony was the first in-person awards presentation since 2019, and Eagan was eager to see the smiling faces of the recipients and shake their hands.
“(It was amazing) To have everyone gather and see the recipients overwhelmed with joy as they approached to receive their scholarships,” she said. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to give back to our military community through the generosity of our donors.”
Eagan said it’s vital that the FHMFMSF provide this opportunity to military spouses and high school seniors at Fort Hood because their many moves can affect their grade point average, extra curriculars and volunteerism.
“Many times, they (military spouses and high school seniors) are overlooked for scholarship opportunities due to the many moves they face as military families,” she said. “Our scholarship looks at the individual as a whole knowing that there will be gaps due to the frequency of moves.”
The sole military spouse recipient, Nichole May, received $5,000 from the FHSF and is pursuing a degree in behavior and social sciences at Central Texas College. The scholarship will help her on her journey to create a better future for her family.
“I come from a long line of high school dropouts and family working minimum wage jobs to make ends meet, and I want to end that for my children,” she said.
The awardees were able to hear words of wisdom from a previous Fort Hood scholarship recipient, Sarah Kennison, and Dr. John Craft, Killeen ISD superintendent.
Kennison, who is attending the University of Texas and studying mathematics, praised the recipients, telling them that their resilience will help them as they move onto the next chapter of their lives.
“You deserve this. You’ve already proven yourself to be diligent, intelligent, driven individuals and I can tell you the journey does not get easier from here,” she said. “It gets a lot harder. However, the traits that I know you possess simply because you are sitting before me today are proof enough that you’ll find success despite the many obstacles that you will face in the future.”
Craft applauded their hard work and dedication to their education despite the challenges thrown their way and he’s excited to see what the future brings.
“You are our future, and our future, I believe, cannot be brighter. I have been so impressed with all that you’ve accomplished particularly in these last two years… I feel like we’re in a great place with a secure future,” he said. “Do everything you can with passion, work hard, (have) perseverance, love thy neighbor and you will be successful.”
The FHMFMSF is currently taking donations for next year’s recipients. For more information, visit https://www.forthoodscholarship.org/donors/.