Fort McCoy News June 28, 2013

Fort McCoy Commissary awards 6 scholarships

STORY & PHOTO BY ROB SCHUETTE
Public Affairs Staff

Six military Family members in the Fort McCoy community were honored for academic achievement and were announced scholarship recipients in the Scholarships for Military Children program at a June 12 ceremony at the Fort McCoy Commissary.

Each of the recipients will receive a $1,500 scholarship toward post-secondary education. Three of the recipients attended the ceremony and were Katie Lelonek and Kyle Werstein of Tomah, Wis., and Matthew Porter of Rio, Wis.

PHOTO for commissary story
Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott (far right), Garrison Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. Bill Bissonette (far left) and Commissary Officer Steve Brown (second from left) honor Scholarships for Military Children recipients (foreground, left to right) Katie Lelonek of Tomah, Wis., Matthew Porter of Rio, Wis., and Kyle Werstein of Tomah, and their Family members at a ceremony at the Fort McCoy Commissary.

The other recipients were Amelia Black of Duluth, Minn.; Brandon Homeyer of Medford, Wis.; and Allison Hunt of DeForest, Wis.
Steve Brown, Fort McCoy Commissary officer, said to be eligible students needed a minimum 3.0-grade point average and demonstrated community involvement. Applicants also prepared a written essay on the topic of how a first lady (since 1933) has made an impact on a social issue in the United States.

The independent scholarship-management company determined the scholarship awards based on the overall applications, including grades, community involvement and many other factors, Brown said.

"Community involvement is what the Fort McCoy Commissary is all about, and Scholarships for Military Children is one way to show we care," Brown said. "The commissary system has long supported promotions with a focus on education."

Brown said the Fort McCoy Commissary continued its record of giving out multiple scholarships in the competition, with most years seeing five to seven scholarships awarded.

The Scholarships for Military Children program complements the many worthwhile scholarships awarded through installation activities, organizations affiliated with the military community or funded by local vendors and will help ease the financial burden of educating military children, he said. The Scholarships for Military Children program is one of the many programs initiated by the Defense Commissary Agency to involve commissaries even more deeply in the fabric of the military community.

Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott and Garrison Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. Bill Bissonette presented certificates and lapel pins to the attending students and their parents/guardians. Nott offered his congratulations to the students as they begin to make the transition from military dependents to young adults.

"Higher education is the crucial instrument for that change," Nott said. "You should be proud of your accomplishment, that you accept conditions for future success. It's only a beginning."

"You have a tremendous opportunity to shape your future and to shape the future of the nation," he said. "Use it well. Based on your character and demonstrated potential, I'm confident you will."

Lelonek, Porter and Werstein addressed the assembled community members. Lelonek will attend the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Eau Claire and Porter will attend UW-Whitewater. Werstein will be a senior at the Minneapolis Art and Design Institute.

For more information about the program, visit the website www.militaryscholar.org. A listing of the scholarship recipients can be found at the website www.militaryscholar.org/sfmc/winners13.html.

For more information about the Fort McCoy Commissary, call 608-388-3542, visit building 1537, or go to the website www.commissaries.com.