The Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program

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The Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship program honors eight outstanding young men and women each year for their volunteer support of veterans in the name of DAV through the VA Voluntary Service Program (VAVS) and/or through DAV’s Local Veterans Assistance Program (LVAP).

The award is named after Jesse Brown, a Marine veteran who was wounded in Vietnam in 1965, and is backed by Ford Motor Company.

Jesse Brown’s injuries did not stop his life calling of serving others. He joined DAV in 1967 and was appointed as our organization’s Executive Director in 1989.

His service and dedication to ill and injured veterans inspired others to follow. In a testament to his steadfast devotion to veterans and his outstanding leadership, he was selected by the President of the United States to become the first African American Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs in 1993.

Serving those who put their country above themselves is not just a tradition but a way of life for some, like Jesse Brown. This is why he was chosen as the namesake for the award that honors these selfless young men and women.

This year, the scholarship recipients are:

Shannon Mathew – Coral Springs, Florida, $20,000

Richard Struck – Palo Alto, California, $15,000

Leah J. Lee – Brookfield, Wisconsin, $10,000

Joseph S. Janikowski – Ocean Springs, Mississippi, $7,500

Lilit Kazazian -Waterford, Michigan, $7,500

Brendan O’Sullivan – Downers Grove, Illinois, $5,000

Tymber Long – Lincoln, Nebraska, $5,000

Natalia Morales – Bronx, New York, $5,000

Candidates for these prestigious scholarships must be under the age of 21 and have volunteered a minimum of 100 hours during the previous calendar year. All volunteer hours must be credited to DAV through VAVS or LVAP and the nomination package must be received by National Headquarters no later than the first week of February each year.

We should all be encouraging our local youth to become involved by giving back to their community’s veterans. Volunteers often tell of the wonderful experiences they’ll always cherish by serving the men and women who said “send me” when America called.

To learn more about the Jesse Brown Memorial Scholarship program or to download nomination materials, visit