Jesse Brown Scholarship paves the way
Volunteering can be an immensely gratifying experience, and in certain occasions it can pay unforeseen dividends that stretch beyond the fulfillment of serving a worthwhile cause.
Each year, DAV, with the help of its longtime partner Ford Motor Co., offers a total of $75,000 as part of eight Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarships to young men and women devoted to serving America’s veterans.
“The Jesse Brown Scholarship has allowed me to have a chance at my dream of becoming a doctor and helping others in need,” said Hannah Farmer, who received 2015’s top scholarship of $20,000. “I am now able to take advantage of a higher education. Volunteering has also given me an amazing set of skills that I can apply to my future career.”
Scholarship eligibility includes those age 21 or younger who have volunteered a minimum of 100 hours through the DAV Voluntary Service Program or DAV’s Local Veterans Assistance Program. The award can be used toward any accredited institution of higher learning, including universities, colleges, community colleges and vocational schools.
“Volunteerism has become the gateway to the next phase of my life,” said 2013 scholarship recipient Max Freeman. “Throughout my five years and over 1,200 hours of voluntary service with DAV I have met some of the most incredible and influential people in my life.”
“Volunteering in the [Department of Veterans Affairs] computer department has helped to define my career path. I knew nothing about computers or what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” said Freeman, now a senior studying computer science at George Mason University. “Over those four years, I have learned much about computers and because of my volunteering I have discovered my passion of computer science and information security assurance.”
“The volunteer time these young adults invest in their communities plays a crucial role in their futures, but also the futures of the veterans they serve,” said DAV National Voluntary Services Director John Kleindienst. “The goal of the scholarship is to encourage and reward future leaders who show compassion for our nation’s heroes and their families. It would be great to see more young people taking advantage of the program.”
“By participating in activities in school and by helping out whenever and wherever I can, I’m able to develop my own identity and beliefs that will definitely help me in the long run,” said the 2016 JBYMS top winner, Shane Mathew. “My primary drive to continue volunteering and assisting in my community are the people who I do it for. For example, the veterans in the VA clinic deserve the utmost care and respect, and I truly believe that, as an American citizen, it is my duty to serve our nation’s heroes however I can.”
“We’re going to be doing more to make more people aware of the program,” said Headquarters Executive Director Barry Jesinoski. “Now is a great time for parents, grandparents and others to encourage participation.”
If you have or know someone who may have interest in volunteering time for veterans, please contact the DAV Voluntary Services Department by emailing [email protected] or by calling toll-free at 877-426-2838. The deadline for applications to receive consideration for the Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship is Feb. 12, 2017 and more info, including online applications, can be found at dav.org/help-dav/volunteer/jesse-brown-scholarship/.