TAMPA, Fla.—DAV (Disabled American Veterans) has named Daniel Finney, of Rock Hill, South Carolina, as the recipient of the 2021 Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship’s top prize of $20,000. Finney will be recognized during the 2021 DAV & Auxiliary National Convention in Tampa, Florida, on July 31.
DAV’s scholarship program honors eight outstanding young men and women each year for their volunteer support of veterans through the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service Program (VAVS) and/or through DAV’s Local Veterans Assistance Program (LVAP).
“I chose to volunteer at the hospital not only because it was a great opportunity but because I wanted to give back to our nation’s heroes who I felt were too often overlooked,” said Finney. “In addition, volunteering with dedicated health care professionals allowed me to discover the actual purpose for my current career path.”
Finney is currently a Junior at Winthrop College in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He has worked with the Rock Hill VA Medical Center for seven years, spending time working in multiple departments throughout the VAMC. In addition, Finney has been a leader for other youth volunteers, introducing more than 15 new volunteers to the Dorn VA summer Student Volunteer program. He plans to use the scholarship to become a Physician Assistant.
“This year’s scholarship recipients recognize that their noble service to our veterans is one important way of repaying those who have shouldered the burden of defending our nation,” said DAV National Commander Stephen “Butch” Whitehead. “With volunteerism on the decline nationwide, I am heartened to see such future leaders like Daniel and all of our fantastic awardees give their most precious resource—their time—to the honorable pursuit of caring for the men and women who served.”
Named after Marine Corps veteran Jesse Brown, a former VA secretary and DAV leader who was wounded in Vietnam in 1965, Ford Motor Company backs the scholarship award.
Additional scholarship recipients include:
$15,000 – Brooke Lynn Jackowski of Pennsylvania
$10,000 – Kayla Nguyen of Texas
$ 7,500 – Jason David Mellon of Virginia
$ 7,500 – Anit Tyagi of Colorado
$ 5,000 – TyDasia Davis of North Carolina
$ 5,000 – Taylor Flanagan of Iowa
$ 5,000 – Celina A. Maharaj of Virginia
DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: keeping our promise to America’s veterans. 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, providing employment resources to veterans and their families, and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a nonprofit organization with more than 1 million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932.