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Spouses club awards $8,000 in scholarships

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn Brewer
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Shaw’s Military Spouse Club gave away over $8,000 in scholarships to military dependents at the Carolina Skies Club, May 1.

Every year, Shaw’s MSC awards two high school students, two college age dependents, two spouse scholarships and one best essay. Through the contributions of local businesses and various auctions the club held last fall they were able to give out seven scholarships.

"We have both base and community involvement, so it’s really cool to see them together and give back to the community here at Shaw,” said Katy Olsen, military spouse and Shaw’s MSC president elect. “I think education is important but it’s important for us as spouses to show how supportive we are for dependents to be able to pursue their education and give them another avenue to find a scholarship on top of other programs the base already offers.”

Joe McElveen, Sumter’s mayor, spoke about the extreme importance of education and stated the scholarships reinforce that value.

Col. Derek O’Malley, 20th Fighter Wing commander, made the correlation between his jet having some issues, bringing him back to earth and grounding him, to education grounding those who will be furthering their future, thanks to Shaw’s MSC and the local community.

Both figures expressed their gratitude towards the hard work of the local community, Shaw’s MSC and those who worked hard to attain a scholarship.

"I am very proud of my daughter,” said Todd Hoppman, retired Army Master Sgt. “She won the same scholarship last year and has been able to apply to learning Russian then go to a conference in Norway where she interacted with foreign exchange students, putting to use her hard earned scholarship.”

Spouses and children of active-duty or retired personnel, surviving spouses and children of deceased members are eligible for the scholarships.

Children should be attending a high school in the Sumter community to be eligible and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Spouses must be applying or working toward their first associate's or bachelor's degree.

This year's $2,000, award recipient was college age dependent Haley Mandakunis. The high school senior, $1,000, winners were, Aislinn Haselden and Natalie Jackson. Military Spouse, $1,000, winners were Kyra Van Anda and Stephanie DeVerna. College-age dependent, $1,000, winners were, Anna Kelly and Morgan Hoppman, with Anna Kelley also receiving the essay winner, $500, scholarship.