By Lisa R. RhodesMay 23, 2013
A high school senior who volunteers to mentor military youth is this year's recipient of the Enlisted Spouses Club's Evelyn Silva Scholarship Award for Excellence.
Catherine Platt, 18, who is graduating from Arundel High School, was awarded a $4,000 scholarship at the ESC's annual scholarship award ceremony held Monday evening at Argonne Hills Chapel Center.
"I'm very excited and honored to receive such a generous scholarship," Platt said.
The Evelyn Silva Scholarship Award for Excellence is given to high school students who best exemplify Silva's commitment to education and community service. Silva, a long-time ESC member, was emcee for the occasion.
ESC awarded $2,000 to Platt. The remaining $2,000 was awarded by the AFCEA Central Maryland Chapter, a nonprofit professional organization for information technology professionals.
Edward Grimes Jr., president of the chapter, joined Patricia Baker, president of ESC, to present the scholarship to Platt.
The award will help cover Platt's tuition when she enrolls in Northeastern University in Boston this fall.
In addition to Platt, two other high school students and three college students were awarded scholarships of $1,500 each to help cover tuition costs.
Garrison Commander Col. Edward C. Rothstein and Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Latter joined Baker in presenting the scholarships to the following students: Otis Duffie, 19, a junior at Johnson & Wales University in Florida who is studying hotel management; Kellen Irby, 18, a senior at Meade High School who will attend the University of Maryland; Madeline Matotek, 20, a senior at the University of Maryland who is studying French language and literature and communications; Brittney Miller, 18, a senior at Chesapeake High School who will attend Anne Arundel Community College; and Makenzie Miller, 20, a junior at the University of Maryland who is studying bioengineering.
Other students who received the scholarship but were not present at the ceremony were Sophia Gaines, Zachary Jones and Avrielle Jones.
For more than 50 years, proceeds from the ESC's Thrift Shop has provided funding for scholarships for military youth. The club also awards a $2,000 scholarship for military spouses.
The ceremony began with a posting of the colors by members of Boy Scout Troop 377. Lauren Wyatt, a Gold Star Mother, sang the National Anthem. Deputy Garrison Chaplain (Lt. Col.) David Cooper gave the invocation.
Guest speaker Queen Waddell, Fort Meade USO Center specialist, spoke about what motivates her to give back to the community and how she and an older sister gave the gift of life by each donating a kidney to their mother.
"I think service to others is my civic and humane responsibility," said Waddell, who began volunteering at age 5 when she helped collect trash during an Earth Day observance.
"I desperately wanted to do my part for the community," she said.
Waddell said community service is important to her because it is her "sincere desire to inspire, empower and celebrate others."
Of her work at Fort Meade, Waddell said, "I am in the position to have an immediate, positive impact on those experiencing various hardships."
Waddell called her mother "the epitome of what God intended us to be on earth."
She said that her mother, a parent of six children and stay-at-home mom, was a "superwoman times six."
Her mother suffered from kidney disease for 20 years and received three kidney donations. Waddell called her mother a "warrior princess" for her resiliency through the disease.
Waddell said the process of donating her kidney was a challenging and rewarding experience.
"I continue to find ways to extend my service to others," she said. "I hope I've inspired you to find some way to serve from the heart -- to give selflessly of yourself."