Young Volunteers Win DAV Scholarships

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Recipients come from across the nation including Washington, D.C., Calif. and Idaho

LAS VEGAS (August 2, 2012) — DAV has selected eight of the nation’s outstanding young volunteers to receive cash awards from the Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program. The first-place scholarship of $20,000 was awarded to Christiana Mae Hess of Martinsburg, W.Va., who has contributed more than 347 hours of service at the Department of Veterans Affairs medical center in Martinsburg. The second-place scholarship of $15,000 went to Kelsey Arline Lewis of Boise, Idaho. A third-place award of $10,000 went to Karstin Paulus Patterson of Long Beach, Calif.

Two volunteers, Christopher Tinker of Birmingham, Ala., and Jessica M. Kelsey of Fresno, Calif., received $7,500 scholarships, and three others, Denise Powell of Biloxi, Miss., Devon Turney of Louisville, Ky., and Aleshya Catrese Richardson of Washington, D.C., were granted $5,000 scholarships.

The Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program honors outstanding young volunteers who are active participants in the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service programs. The scholarships are awarded to deserving young men and women who have donated their time and compassion to injured and ill veterans in their communities.

“The young men and women who received this year’s scholarships exhibit outstanding compassion and devotion to serve veterans as volunteers at VA medical centers and facilities,” said National Commander Donald L. Samuels. “The quality of their character and the respect they have for our veterans make them excellent volunteers. They give their best to help our veterans.”

Hess, 18, served in the outpatient pharmacy and ambulatory care unit of the Martinsburg VA medical center where she was a first-line of communication with patients, explaining procedures to obtain prescriptions. She has also assisted nurses by preparing packages for patient testing and updating pharmacy manuals.

“My future goals are greatly influenced by my experience volunteering at the Martinsburg VAMC,” said Hess. “Working for the VA as a pharmacist is my long-term goal. I want to continue serving our veterans.”

DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served. DAV does this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a non-profit organization with 1.2 million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U. S. Congress in 1932. Learn more at