Club awards 11 scholarships to military dependents

Col. Patrick Miller (right), 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, and Tracey Tomme, 2022 Wright-Patterson Officers’ Spouses’ Club scholarship chairwoman, celebrate with 2022 WPOSC scholarship award winners during a ceremony at the Wright-Patterson Club on May 12. (From left) WPOSC club leaders Melissa Troxel and Leigh Ann Yerrick joined recipients Henry Kitchen, Angelica Quebatay, Veronica Rajotte, Marian Frial, Hannah Becker, Jenna Hallbeck, Justine Buell and Nolan Maguire. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

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Col. Patrick Miller (right), 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, and Tracey Tomme, 2022 Wright-Patterson Officers’ Spouses’ Club scholarship chairwoman, celebrate with 2022 WPOSC scholarship award winners during a ceremony at the Wright-Patterson Club on May 12. (From left) WPOSC club leaders Melissa Troxel and Leigh Ann Yerrick joined recipients Henry Kitchen, Angelica Quebatay, Veronica Rajotte, Marian Frial, Hannah Becker, Jenna Hallbeck, Justine Buell and Nolan Maguire. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Those who exemplify excellence in classroom honored

The Wright-Patterson Officers’ Spouses’ Club awarded nearly a dozen scholarships to military family members totaling $20,000 during a ceremony May 12 at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Each year, WPOSC awards scholarships to dependent children and spouses of active duty, retired, deceased, prisoner-of-war or missing-in-action U.S. armed forces or Reserve component members affiliated with or residing within 100 miles of WPAFB.

“We believe the scholarships we award each year are a small way to make a large impact in the lives of military children and spouses,” said Tracey Tomme, the WPOSC Scholarship chairwoman.

The club, which is a private organization and not part of the Department of Defense or any of its components and has no governmental status, seeks to aid those who exemplify excellence in the classroom and local community.

“Our scholarships help ease the financial burden on the student and their family. When a student doesn’t need to worry about their tuition or paying for books, it allows them to be fully engaged in their studies,” added Leigh Ann Yerrick, WPOSC president.

The 11 recipients were selected from more than 50 applicants who competed for scholarships in three categories: current college students, graduating high school seniors and spouses.

Here’s a look at the individuals who won funds to help support their college tuition, books, room and board during the 2022-23 school year:

· Annabella Blowers ($2,500): The daughter of Col. Michael Blowers, 88th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron commander, she is currently attending Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She is majoring in English and has aspirations of becoming a lawyer. Her commitment to family and appreciation for the service of military members, along with the sacrifices of their families, was evident in her essay: “I wouldn’t trade my experience as a military dependent for anything.”

· Marian Frial ($2,500): The spouse of 2nd Lt. Virbon Frial, she is currently working toward her undergraduate degree at Wright State University in nursing. She has also attended the University of Colorado in Denver. She states in her essay, “My passions of connections and service fuel my desire to become a registered nurse and nurse practitioner. … In these positions, I hope to serve and empower individuals in the military community.”

· Angelica Quebatay ($2,500): A Springboro High School student, she is the top high school senior applicant. In her essay, Quebatay shares some of what it meant to grow up as the daughter of an immigrant and active-duty Air Force officer. She wants to become an Air Force doctor because, as she says, “It is a great way to give back to a community that has impacted my family and my life.” Quebatay plans to attend the University of Washington in Seattle to study biochemistry.

· Jeffrey Koch ($2,200): He is a senior at Bishop Fenwick High School and also attended Springboro High School. Koch is still deciding where and what to study. He states in his essay, “I developed a love for learning and garnering new knowledge which only grows over time.” He stresses he has a “strong sense of honor, character and integrity.”

· Veronica Rajotte ($2,200): She is a senior at Miami Valley School in Dayton. Rajotte plans to attend Northeastern University in Boston to study marine science. Why? Because as she writes in her essay, after living near a beach in California, “I was hooked — and my passion for marine science was born!”

· Jenna Hallbeck ($2,000): She is a senior at Centerville High School. In her essay, Hallbeck addressed the stress of having a deployed parent and appreciates the “lessons of discipline, sacrifice and selflessness” she learned. She plans to study economics at Carnegie Mellon this fall.

· Justine Buell ($1,400): A senior at Beavercreek High School, she also takes courses at Sinclair Community College. She states, in her essay: “I uncovered my passion for law/criminal justice and now plan to major in Criminology at The Pennsylvania State University with my end goal being to attend law school.”

· Henry Kitchen ($1,400): He is graduating from Hilliard Davidson High School near Columbus and plans to be an aerospace engineer. While accepted at Ohio State, Purdue and Michigan, Kitchen has not yet decided which he will attend. He explains in his essay that having two parents who serve in the military, often overseas, has inspired him.

· Ceily Addison ($1,100): Set to graduate from Oakwood High School, she has signed on to attend Yale and plans to study statistics and possibly join the Air Force or Space Force. Addison writes, “As a dependent, I’ve learned that genuine sacrifice builds the strongest communities.”

· Hannah Becker ($1,100): A senior at Bellbrook High School, she plans to attend the University of Cincinnati as she works toward becoming a physician. In her essay, she says her experience as a military child has taught her how to “adapt and persevere.”

· Nolan Maguire ($1,100): He is a senior at Beavercreek High School and the son of two career military members. While not sure where he will attend college, Maguire plans to major in engineering. In his essay, he writes: “Living so close to Wright-Patterson AFB and frequent visits to the Air Force Museum growing up developed my interest in aircraft and technological innovation.”

Supporting military families has always been at the heart of the Wright-Patterson Officers’ Spouses’ Club.

Club members volunteer countless hours to raise funds through the WPOSC Base Thrift Shop, Mah Jongg book sales and the annual Make It, Bake It, Fake It Silent Auction. The funds raised support annual scholarship awards — as well as other base and community programs and events.

Email questions to scholarship@wrightpattersonosc.org.

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