Military Trust scholarships support dreams for sons and daughters of American service families
The trust’s 2012 scholarship recipients were chosen from among 46 applicants.
By MELODY JAMESON
SUN CITY CENTER – An oncologist in the making with an eye on cancer cures, a linguist-to-be looking ahead to contributions on the global stage, a dentist-in-training interested in the dental needs of autistic children … these young high schoolers and others like them are closer to their goals this week thanks to the Military Family Support Trust.
The trust, dedicated to assisting military families and headquartered at Freedom Plaza, last week awarded 16 scholarships to youngsters from around the country who now are embarking on their college careers. All are sons and daughters of active, retired or former military officers, enlisted personnel with the rank of sergeant or above, or Purple Heart recipients.
Six of them were present for an awards celebration Friday following the MFST annual scholarship luncheon and five of that half dozen are Florida high school graduates, including three from Tampa. They were introduced by Trustee Colin Howgill.
Among the Tampa awardees was Darrian J. Jones, a 2012 Hillsborough High graduate aspiring to become a pediatric dentist specializing in dental care customized for autistic youth. And there was Kathleen Kyle, a Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School senior headed to Florida State University to begin working toward a medical degree in oncology and eventual research for the cures to eradicate various types of cancer. Megan Leigh Smith, being graduated soon from Paul Wharton High School, plans to join her at Florida State where she, too, is aiming for an advanced degree in healthcare services.
The other Florida students receiving MFST scholarships this year included Amanda L. Carl of Lakeland who is headed to Liberty University and a career in teaching. She soon will be a Lakeland Christian School graduate. Audrey M. Currier, from Winter Haven and the Summerlin Academy there, plans to be on the University of Vermont campus in the fall, starting her education in linguistics and a career in the U.S. Army where she hopes to make a contribution by facilitating communications in foreign countries.
The sixth scholarship winner present for the awards was Jay M. Turner, a 14-yer-old high school graduate from Ashby, Minnesota, who already has begun his college work at the University of Minnesota. His ambition is to become a doctor specializing in genetics. One of a family of 10, who lost his father when he was three years old, Jay’s record includes work on his Eagle Scout designation with Boy Scouts of America, Howgill told the assembly, and service as a tutor for his peers when, at the age of 12, he began high school and needed a means of fitting in with older students.
Among the other scholarship winners were three from western states. Matthew David Thompson, a graduate of Cathedral Catholic High School in Encinitas, California, who also lost his father at an early age, is aiming for a career in film production. He already has a completed a film he produced with $3,500 he raised for the project to tell a father and son story, Howgill added.
And, Madilynn Marie Timm, being graduated from Okanogan High School, Okanogan, Washington, plans a career in engineering. She has her eye on an internship at Boeing Aircraft, one of her home state’s leading manufacturers.
Katrina Anne Bennett from Leonardtown, Maryland, expects to use her scholarship funds at Colgate University where she begins training to become a neurologist while Ayana M. Crawford from Lexington, S.C., is aiming for degrees in music and psychology and Tyler G. Elrod, Fort Bragg, N.C., is off to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, seeking advanced degrees in history and philosophy in order to teach on the college level.
Melissa Hardman from Mundelein, Illinois, will be working toward a degree in linguistics, Kaitlyn McCombs of Bessemer, Alabama, plans to become an equine veterinarian, and Renee Marie Pritchard, Huntsville, Texas, is going to teach mathematics after she completes her college education.
Another film maker, Bailie Hale Richards, is from Lawrence, Kansas, where she also has produced an award-winning short film and is off to the University of Kansas to continue her studies, while Kaitlin E. Young from Zanesville, Ohio, is planning to become qualified in speech pathology in order to provide services to special needs patients.
The MFST, supported by donations, was founded in 1991 by Col. Luke Lloyd, (U.S. Army ret.) with less than $250 in seed money. Today, the trust with assets in the seven figures bracket funnels financial assistance in multiple directions to aid and support military families. It is overseen on a day-to-day basis by CEO and President Don Schings, a former U.S. Marine and a Sun City Center resident.
The trust’s 2012 scholarship recipients were chosen from among 46 applicants, based on academic and public service oriented backgrounds. Their awards range from $2,000 provided in $500 increments over four years to $12,000, or $3.000 per year for four years.
Copyright 2012 Melody Jameson