Wright-Patt teen rewarded for academic excellence

Base Exchange Store Manager Christy Beenenga (right) presents the 2nd-place award for the worldwide Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s “You Made the Grade” sweepstakes to ninth-grader Alanna Morales with her mother, Ivelisse, standing by her side at the main Exchange on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base July 19. Alanna won the award because of her excellent academic record. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)
Caption
Base Exchange Store Manager Christy Beenenga (right) presents the 2nd-place award for the worldwide Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s “You Made the Grade” sweepstakes to ninth-grader Alanna Morales with her mother, Ivelisse, standing by her side at the main Exchange on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base July 19. Alanna won the award because of her excellent academic record. (U.S. Air Force photo/Jim Varhegyi)

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service recently honored a Wright-Patterson Air Force Base teen for her outstanding academic achievements.

Ninth-grader Alanna Morales received the Exchange second-place prize for the worldwide You Made the Grade sweepstakes during a presentation July 19 at the Wright-Patterson Exchange.

The You Made the Grade program provides the opportunity for first- through 12th-graders who maintain a B average or higher to enter the sweepstakes for a chance at a $2,000, $1,500 or $500 Exchange gift card. Alanna was one of three winners randomly selected from more than 900 entries.

“It’s with great pride that we honor Alanna for her academic achievements,” said Wright-Patterson General Manager Donald Walter. “What better incentive is there than realizing the benefits of your hard work.”

Alanna, 13, the daughter of Maj. Juan Morales and his wife, Ivelisse, was presented a $1,500 Exchange gift card.

Morales has served in the military for nearly 18 years, first with the Army Reserve in Puerto Rico before being commissioned in the Air Force via Officer Training School in 2006.

Alanna, who is home-schooled, is more than just a straight-A student. She volunteers at Wright Patterson’s USO Center with her family. She is also involved with the Civil Air Patrol cadet program and 4-H. She loves to write short stories and draw landscapes, portraits and abstract paintings. She is fluent in Spanish and eventually wants to be a lawyer in the Air Force.

Along with her intelligence and talent, Alanna has a heart for helping and giving to others. She plans to use part of her winnings to buy a phone for her 12-year-old brother, Juan.

Why? “Because he’s just so awesome,” she said.

For more information about the You Made the Grade program, students and guardians can contact the Wright-Patterson Exchange at 937-879-5730. Students can send You Made the Grade sweepstakes entry forms to:

You Made the Grade

PO Box 227398

Dallas, TX 75222-7398

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