One of the military community’s premier benefits has become even more valuable to 700 college and high school students. The annual Scholarships for Military Children Program winners have been announced and the “Honor Roll” is impressive. Approximately 4,000 students applied for the scholarships at commissary locations worldwide. All of the recipients are listed at www.militaryscholar.org, the official website for the program.

Allan Piri of Blanket, graduate of Early High School, is a recipient of a $2,000 college scholarship awarded at Goodfellow AFB. Goodfellow AFB is one of nearly 250 commissaries operated worldwide by the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA). Allan’s parents are Andrew and Laura Piri. Allan is enrolled, or plans to enroll, at West Texas A&M University. Allan’s school and community activities include: Acolyte/Crucifer, marching band, basketball, Boy Scouts and FFA.

The Scholarships for Military Children Program was initiated in 2000 to award scholarships to graduating high school seniors or college-enrolled students. The scholarships program is open to qualified sons and daughters of members of the U.S. Armed Services including active duty, retirees, guard/reserves, as well as children of deceased military personnel. Applications are turned in through commissaries.

Applicants for the 2016 program were required to maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average, participate in voluntary school and community activities, demonstrate leaderships qualities and write an essay on “Obesity is among the leading cause of military ineligibility among people 17 to 24, affecting nearly 30 percent of men and women in this age group. Specifically, how would you address this problem and what are your proposed solutions? What would be the challenges of implementing your plan?”

Manufacturers and organizations that do business with the commissary system funded the scholarships with money ordinarily used for various other contests and promotions. Allan’s scholarship was funded through the generosity of Pharmavite.

The Fisher House Foundation administers the Scholarships for Military Children Program through Scholarship Managers, a professional scholarship management services organization. Fisher House is known for building the military comfort homes near military medical facilities.

As in prior year programs, the level of competition continues to be very keen. “The cumulative GPA remains in the 3.7 to 3.9 range,” said Bernard T. Coté, President of Scholarship Managers.

As in all prior years, the caliber of the applicants to the ‘Scholarships for Military Children Program’ continues to be a step above those students who apply to many other scholarship programs we administer.”