By Senior Airman Alexxis Pons Abascal
27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs
One lucky recent Texico High School graduate was provided with a scholarship through the Defense Commissary Agency on June 13 at Cannon Air Force Base.
The scholarship was administered by the Fisher House Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance to service members and their families.
“I’m extremely happy and honored to receive this scholarship,” said Elliott Pelfrey, military dependent. “I was recently accepted to the University of New Mexico and this money will help out a lot with expenses.”
The Scholarships for Military Children Program was created in 2001 to recognize the contributions of military families to the readiness of the fighting force and celebrate the role of the commissary agency in the military family community.
Fisher House prides itself in providing a “Home Away from Home” near military medical centers for families experiencing a personal medical crisis, and is one of the premiere quality of life organizations in support of military families. As a way for the foundation to expand their service to military families, it has volunteers to underwrite administration for this scholarship program.
Primary funding for scholarships comes through the generosity of manufacturers and suppliers whose products are sold at military commissaries worldwide.
The program kicked off in December 2012 and ended Feb. 22. This year, one of the required items for submission was an essay asking applicants to: “Please discuss in detail how one of the first ladies (since 1933) has made an impact on a social issue in the United States.”
“I wrote my essay on Nancy Reagan and her “Just Say No” recreational drug prevention awareness campaign,” Pelfrey stated. “Her work on educating and informing youth on the dangers of drug abuse can still be seen in schools across the nation.”
Scholarships were provided based on funds available, but the program awards at least $1,500 to each commissary. If no eligible applicants were designated from a particular commissary, funds were transferred as additional scholarship money to another commissary.
In order to apply, applicants had to be a dependent, unmarried child, younger than 21 or 23 if enrolled as a full-time student at a college or university, of a service member on active duty, reservist, guardsman, retiree or survivor of a retiree or military member who died while serving.
Since the inception of the program, more than $11 million in scholarships has been awarded to more than 7,500 children of service members.
“I just want to say thank you again to everyone who made this possible for me,” Pelfrey continued. “I am very humbled and honored to be presented with this!”