Fort Meade Enlisted Spouses Club honors top students
Susan Renninger (center left), second vice president of the Enlisted Spouses Club and chairperson of the ESC scholarship committee, cuts the cake with many of the scholarship winners at the ESC's annual scholarship ceremony May 23 at Argonne Hills Chapel

FORT GEOGE G. MEADE, Md. (June 2, 2011) -- A Meade High School senior is the first recipient of the Enlisted Spouses Club's Evelyn Silva Scholarship Award of Excellence.

The scholarship was awarded at the ESC's annual scholarship ceremony May 23 at Argonne Hills Chapel Center.

The club awarded Michael Dallen Cox the $2,000 Silva Scholarship, in the name of Evelyn Silva, a longtime ESC member. For several years, Silva served as president of the Thrift Shop Council, which oversees the Post Thrift Shop. Proceeds from the shop benefit the ESC scholarship fund and other club activities.

To be awarded the $2,000 scholarship, a candidate must be a graduating high school senior with a 3.0 G.P.A. who has shown a commitment to volunteerism for more than a year.

Cox, the first recipient of the scholarship, will attend Drexel University in Philadelphia to study psychology and art history.

"I feel extremely honored," said Cox, 18, son of Michelle and Capt. Michael Cox of the 1st Medical Recruiting Battalion who reside in Meuse Forest. "I was so surprised that I actually got it."

Cox was president of the Meade High School Key Club and an active volunteer with the school's Helpers for the Homeless program.

In addition to the Evelyn Silva Scholarship, the ESC also awarded 10 graduating high school students a $1,200 scholarship, which was based largely on a student's service in school, church and the community as well as participation in sports. For decades, a competitive GPA has not been a part of the scholarship selection criteria.

Recipients of the ESC $1,200 scholarship were Otis Duffie, Amber Brae Adams, Shani Nichele Bonner, Tyler Ellwein, Jessica Galpin, Avrielle Jones, Zachary L. Jones, Erich Kestler II, Makenzie Lee Miller and Sabrina Shah.

Otis, son of retired Master Sgt. Otis and Patsie Duffie, plans to major in hotel management at Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, N.C.

"I feel really blessed for receiving it," the 17-year-old said. "It's an honor."

Installation Command Sgt. Maj. Charles E. Smith, who attended the ceremony with his wife, Audrey, helped present the scholarships.

"I think it's my duty to come out," Smith said after the program. "When you help a young person get to the next level, like going to college, it's always good."

During the ceremony, Susan Renninger, second vice president of ESC and chairperson of the club's scholarship committee, spoke about the importance of moral behavior.

"We all have our ups and downs -- that doesn't mean we can't get back up and follow the golden rule," she said.

Mary Doyle, chief of media relations for the Fort Meade Public Affairs Office, was the guest speaker at the ceremony. Co-author of "I'm Still Standing," the biography of former Army prisoner of war Shoshana Johnson, Doyle spoke about her recent nomination for a NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Literary Work Biography/Autobiography.

Doyle told the audience that as a high school student, she did not have any aspiration of becoming a writer. But as she wrote short stories during college, getting published became her dream.

"Once I was published, I hoped, dreamt, that the book would be well-received," Doyle said. " I hoped that people would like it. When the book was nominated for a NAACP Award, I had the satisfaction of knowing that I must have done a pretty good job."

Doyle recalled that when she traveled to Los Angeles in March to attend the NAACP Awards Show, the experience, she said, was her "dream come true."

She advised students that as their life experiences change, they should not hesitate to create new aspirations.

"Don't be afraid of taking another path if it feels right," Doyle said.

Page last updated Thu June 2nd, 2011 at 00:00