by Steve Birch, Chairman
The Scholarship Foundation leadership met on June 20th and has awarded eight offspring of the Marne Division with scholarships for the 2023-2024 school year. The applications were evaluated by the Board of Directors composed of Trustees: Buff Blount, Heather Wells, Jim Reeves, Jeff Danby, and Chair, Steve Birch. The quality of applicants was outstanding with the students displaying not only excellent academic performance, but active involvement in sports, community and other activities that demonstrate solid citizens. Each of the students are receiving a $2,000.00 (two-thousand dollar) scholarship to the institution where they will attend school.
The eight 2023 scholarship recipients are:
|Alexandra Harper||Justin Harper||University of Kansas|
|Caitlin Magennis||Stephen Magennis||Florida State University|
|Gabrielle Gurrola||Terri Gordon||Jordan Mercer University|
|Jackson Capra||Kevin Capra||The Ohio State University|
|Kirya Bergstrom||Colin Bergstrom||University of California, Riverside|
|Lily Weis||John Weis||University of Dayton|
|Shelby Fricks||Samuel Fricks||Colorado State University|
|Willow Myers||Robert Myers||Pennsylvania State University|
University of Kansas
Alexandra was sponsored by her father, Justin Harper, who served with 3-67 Armor as part of the 2rd Armored Brigade Combat Team. Currently enrolled at the University of Kansas where she is studying Nursing (with a 4.0 GPA) and actively involved in the KU Running Club and campus ministries. In her essay, Alexandra celebrated the “Dogface Soldier” song and the sense of community for Army families at Fort Stewart. Her viewpoint is a great reflection of the experience of a young teen living at Fort Stewart during the deployment cycles over the past 20 years.
Florida State University
Caitlin was sponsored by Steve Magennis who served with Task Force 1-28 Infantry. While attending high school in Columbus, GA, she was awarded the John Philip Sousa Award among her many honors. She will enroll at Florida State University where she will study music education with the eventual goal of being a professional percussionist. In her essay, Caitlin highlighted the freedom of speech and how, particularly as a female, she enjoys the right to speak freely and that this right is part of our Constitution.
Gabrielle was sponsored by Terri Gurrola, of the 498th Support Battalion (3 BCT, 3ID). A graduate of St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School where she participated in Student Council, Cheer-leading and community outreach. She will attend Mercer University this fall. In her essay, Gabrielle extolled the virtues of freedom and the importance of standing up for freedom and to take pride in our country. She also speaks of the importance for Americans to stand together.
The Ohio State University
Jackson Capra is awarded his scholarship in honor of the Ball brothers, who led the scholarship foundation in the past. Jackson was sponsored by his father, Kevin Capra, who served with the Division Artillery and later with 1-10 Field Artillery. While attending Killeen High School Jackson has participated in Junior ROTC and was selected to attend the Normandy Institute at George Washington University, in Washington, DC. In his essay, Jackson discussed the true meaning a service and sacrifice. He spoke of researching Captain Ralph Hargraves, a Soldier buried at the Normandy American Cemetery, who was killed in action on July 13, 1944 , just four months before the birth of his daughter.
University of California, Riverside
Kirya Bergstrom was sponsored by Colin Bergstrom, a veteran of the 703rd Main Support Battalion of the Division Support Command. Kirya was a great success in both the classroom as an Advanced Placement student as well as on the varsity swim team and on the water polo club. She is also an environmental steward in the local community. In her essay, Kirya discusses the importance of military mental health care for both Soldiers and family members. She intends to focus her education on becoming a physician and mental health provider with the goal of reducing veteran suicide rates.
University of Dayton
Lily was sponsored by her grandfather, John Weis, a member of the 1st Battalion, 7th Infantry (Cottonbalers), when they were stationed in Aschaffenburg, Germany. Lily was a member of the National Honor Society and field hockey team. She led an effort at her school to paint parking spots for “Seniors Only” to improve school spirit and she was recognized for her positive influence on others. In her essay, she focused on the courage and bravery of members of the 3rd Infantry Division and relished being referred to as “A Dog Faced Soldier” for her own work ethic.
Colorado State University
Shelby was sponsored by Samuel Fricks, a life member of the Society of the 3rd Infantry Division. Shelby led her schools Future Farmers of America chapter and volunteered extensively in her community. In her essay, titled “Honoring Our Heroes”, she discusses the importance of putting a human face on those Soldiers that fight in our nations wars. Shelby seeks to expose the humanity and comradery of Soldiers in a way that the civilian population can understand. She emphasizes the importance of veterans in the life of our country and our obligation to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of them.
Pennsylvania State University
Willow was sponsored by her father, Robert Myers, a veteran of 2-41 Field Artillery and Desert Storm. Willow is accomplished in both academics and in sports. A three-time state medalist in both cross-country and track, she has also been a leader as the class president for the past three years. In her essay, Willow writes about Patriotism and our obligation to help others, regardless of political affiliation and the obligation of all citizens to fight to protect our rights, as granted in the Constitution. In her words, true patriots are ambassadors and representatives of how truly amazing our country is.