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Scholarship program designed to lighten load for service member families

By Lance Cpl. M. Daniel Sanchez | | November 9, 2007

 With all of the responsibilities Marines have in their professional and personal lives, there is one organization, dedicated to lightening their load in the education department.

 For more than 40 years, the Marine Corps Schol¬arship Foundation has been offering the children of retirees, honorably/medically discharged, and active-duty and deceased Marines the chance to seek higher education.

 The foundation, which was started by retired Brig. Gen. Martin F. Rockmore, is designed to “Honor Marines by educating their children,” through several scholarship awards.

 The scholarship amounts range from $1,000 to $10,000 and can be renewed annually for up to four years for undergraduate students.

 The scholarship can also be used in conjunction with other grants and programs, said June Hering, foundation scholarship director.

 The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is also open to the children of Navy corpsmen who have served with Marines and meet the same cri¬teria listed here.

 According to the foundation’s Web site, www.mcsf.com, applicants need to maintain at least a 2.0 grade-point-average and enroll in a college, univer¬sity, technical school or vocational program.

 The applicant’s gross annual family income must also be less than $77,000, unless more than one in¬dividual from the same family is applying, in which case, the cap is raised by $10,000 per child.

 “We also have a category of scholarships aptly named, Heroes Tribute Scholarships, for the chil¬dren of Marines killed in the War on Terror and the Cornerstone Scholarships that we award to students who exhibit academic excellence,” said Hering.

 Hering said her overall goal is to get more Marine and sailor families involved this year than ever before.

 The foundation gives out approximately 1,000 scholarships per year, but that is just not enough, said Hering.

 “Around the globe and throughout our history, Marines have given selflessly for the greater good to defend the rights, restore the peace, and provide humanitarian aid to those in dire needs,” said Her¬ing. “Many of these dedicated men and women have dreams of a college education for their own children and we want to be there for them.”

 It’s a great thing when a Marine serves his or her country for almost 30 years and their kids are blessed back with a scholarship, said Sgt. Maj. Christopher Hamel, Headquarters and Headquarters sergeant major, referring to the fact two of his daughters have received aid from the foundation.

 Hamel said his daughters, Brittni and Jenni¬fer, have received scholarships for the past three years.

 With three school-aged children and two in col¬lege, it’s important to take all the help that is out there, said Hamel.

 “One of my daughters received $3500 total in scholarships. She had enough for her books, tuition and enough to pay for her housing,” he said.

 “As a parent, that takes a lot of pressure off me because now I don’t need to worry about them holding down two jobs, and trying to go through a full course study.”

 “Marines need to go out and find all these scholarships. Do the research and don’t wait until the last minute,” said Hamel.

 For more information about the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, visit their Web site at www.mcsf.com or contact them by phone at, 1-800-292-7777.

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