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Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
DECA worldwide scholarship awarded

By Cpl. Denyelle D. Spillane | | June 26, 2003

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The Defense Commissary Agency, Kraft Foods and Fisher House awarded their annual scholarship at a ceremony held at the commissary here June 19.

The $1,500 check was presented to Terry L. Whitaker Jr., son of retired Marine Chief Warrant Officer Terry L. Whitaker Sr. and Zina Whitaker.

Although many applications were submitted, Whitaker came out on top.

The worldwide scholarship is awarded every year to a deserving military dependent.

The program is called Scholarships for Military Children and it has awarded 920 scholarships and nearly $1.5 million during its first two years. All funds for scholarships are donated by the various manufacturers, brokers and suppliers that provide products for sale in military commissaries, which are recognized as a valuable quality of life benefit and an integral part of the military community.

The scholarship program is open to unmarried children dependents, under the age of 23, of active duty personnel, reservists, guardsmen and retirees.

The applicants are chose based on their grades in school, extra curricular activities and community involvement. The candidates also were required to write an essay about how being the child of a military service member has influenced their educational goals.

"Since youth, my dad has influenced me by implanting ideals for success in me," Whitaker wrote. ÒHe does not merely provide advice and guidance but also presents a living example of what dreams, discipline and determination can do."

With inspiration to accomplish his goals, Whitaker looks forward to starting college with excitement, especially with an extra $1,500 in his pockets.

"This money is going to help pay for my books and make paying for my classes a little easier," said the 17-year-old.

Whitaker graduated high school earlier than most because he began school in California, which is a year ahead of the schools in Georgia.

He starts college in the fall semester and plans to major in English.
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