Wounded warriors, spouse receive full 4-year scholarship to CTU
January 6, 2011
By Lori Newman
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Two wounded warriors and the spouse of a wounded warrior received a great surprise before the holidays - a full four-year scholarship to Colorado Technical University.
Retired Army Staff Sgt. Domingo Soto-Santana, Army Spc. Brittani Lowery and Mary Lou Copper were among 50 candidates to receive scholarships from the CTU Wounded Warrior Scholarship program during a ceremony at the Warrior and Family Support Center Dec. 15. The recipients also received a laptop computer and book bag.
The program is a partnership between CTU and the non-profit Yellow Ribbon Fund. CTU has provided 150 scholarships worth nearly $3 million so far.
"The CTU Wounded Warrior Scholarship program helps better prepare our wounded service members and their Families as they face an uncertain future," said James Hendrickson, vice president of military education at CTU.
"With nearly 40,000 military members injured in conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, we're proud to help positively impact the lives of these extraordinary men and women and their spouses through higher education."
"Colorado Technical University is a regional accredited university that was founded in Colorado Springs by a former military person," said Josie Alcaraz, a CTU representative. "We have always had strong military ties."
Candidates had to fill out an extensive application and submit an essay that specifically talked about their plans to complete their education and why they should receive the scholarship. After a selection board reviews the applications and grants the scholarships, 25 scholarships are given to wounded warriors and 25 go to the spouses of wounded warriors.
L. Tammy Duckworth, a wounded warrior and assistant secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, heads the wounded warrior selection board.
The spouses' scholarship board is headed by Marie Tillman, the wife of former NFL player Pat Tillman, who died in 2004 while serving with the 75th Army Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan.
"A couple of years ago, we noticed a strong increase in wounded warriors attending the online division," Alcaraz explained. "So we felt it was our opportunity to do something to give back."
"This means a lot because without a scholarship I probably wouldn't be able to attend college because of the financial situation we are in," Copper said.
Soto-Santana said he kept calling to find out the status of his application. When he found out he would be receiving the scholarship, he couldn't believe it.
"It took awhile to sink in," he said. "I'm anxious to jump in. It's been awhile since I've been to school."