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Sharon Foster, Office of the Secretary of Defense Public Affairs
WASHINGTON - 06.13.2009
The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation recently raised more than $300,000 at its 23rd Annual Washington Gala to benefit high school and college students from families of active-duty and former Marines.
Gen. James F. Amos, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, was the military guest of honor at the event here June 6. He thanked the more than 300 guests for their continued support of the foundation.
"The 2009 Washington Gala was extremely successful," Clint Nesmith, national director of volunteers and event sponsorship at the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, said. "Our scholarships provide life-changing financial support for students while increasing their chances for success in their personal and professional lives."
This year, more than 80 students will receive about $3,400 each to further their education at a university of their choice. Kyle James, a scholarship recipient and son of Marine Maj. Brian Joseph James, who died in a July 1992 car crash, is very grateful for the award.
"My father, by all accounts, was an extraordinary man," James said. "I know this not just by the few precious memories I have of him or by what I have simply been told, but also by what I have seen and by what I have experienced as a recipient of this scholarship. My hope is that other students will be afforded a chance to experience this bond that sets the Marine Corps on a different level."
Since 1962, the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation has provided academic scholarships to children of Marines and Navy corpsmen serving with Marines, with particular attention given to children whose parent was killed or wounded in action.
Children of active-duty or former Marines are eligible to apply for these scholarships. A parent must have served honorably for more than 90 days in the Marine Corps or Marine Corps Reserve. Applicants are expected to have a satisfactory academic record and have participated in civic and/or school activities.
According to Nesmith, these scholarships are vital to Marine families, as the cost of higher education continues to rise.
"The situation among many Marine families presents a sobering reality," Nesmith said. "Today, the average household income of our scholarship recipients is under $43,000."
To meet the current and future needs of educating children of Marines, the troop-support group recently launched an aggressive capital drive, "The American Patriots Campaign." Through the "Heroes Tribute Scholarship Fund" and "Need-based Scholarships," the group is looking to bolster its existing programs for children of Marines.