FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 22, 2014) -- With the rising costs of a college education, it's always a blessing when a student receives help, and this year's Fort Rucker Community Spouses Club Scholarship Awards Ceremony did just that for 34 Fort Rucker Family members.

In its decades long history, the FRCSC's scholarship program has helped hundreds of students to achieve their higher education goals, and these scholarships are crucial to supplement what Families can afford to spend on higher education, said Darcy Lynch, FRCSC president.

"Scholarships are only one of the many ways the FRCSC gives back to our community … but it is our largest contribution financially," she said. "The FRCSC understands the importance of education and prides itself on being able to offer hard working students assistance to meet their educational goals."

Those students honored May 13 were Baylee Wynn, Rachel Stidley, Joshua Cox, Aidan Sloan, Katie Myers, Emily Newman, Emily Snyder, Stephanie Williams, Ashley Halverson, Kaylynn Cain, Trevor Shlam, Lindsay Simmons, Marissa Long, Nicolas Forti, Ashli Williams, Sarah McGhee, Franchesca Perez, Taylor Bergeron, Liam Edens, Michael Dreilinger, Anna Clark, Sevde Caliskan, Jonathan Gonzalez, Kaitlyn Hakel, Katherine O`Brion, Elizabeth Wood, Olani Borders, Erika Sullivan, Cassandra Squier, Nicole Leuci, Jena Servold, Preston Griffin, Branden Torres and Jenna Wilson.

FRCSC scholarships are not awarded to dependents of active-duty military personnel only. The FRCSC also awards scholarships to the sons, daughters and spouses of Soldiers and civilians who have made the Wiregrass their permanent home, including dependents of National Guard, Reservists, retirees, and Department of the Army and Department of Defense personnel.

"A great majority of our scholarship winners go on to attend local and state colleges, boosting the economies in these areas," said Lynch.

This year's application pool was very competitive, as the scholarship committee received more than 70 applications. The committee evaluated each student's academics, community service, work experience, activities and letters of recommendation to determine winners.

The scholarship application includes a detailed questionnaire, said Col. Stuart J. McRae, garrison commander, while listing some of the questions.

How do you define a successful career and what path might you take to achieve it?

What do you believe is man's most important technical discovery and why?

Describe a difficult decision you had to make and its impact on you.

Describe a moment of success or failure and its impact on you.

"These students are the best of the best. They have top grade point averages, bullet point after bullet point of extracurricular activities and glowing letters of recommendation," said the FRCSC president. "However, these students are so much more than what they put down on the application. They are active members (of the community), are praised and admired by their peers, and some have one or even two jobs while going to school."

FRCSC gave away a record number amount in scholarships this year, totaling $48,500, added McRae.

Besides the spouses club, the Fort Rucker Thrift Shop; The Society of American Military Engineers; First Command Educational Foundation; Enterprise Dental Associates; Edward Jones, Joan Newman's Office; Raytheon; The Retired Officers Wives Association and Sikorsky contributed to the cause.

Gail Dwyer, guest speaker during the ceremony, spoke to the awardees about being successful in college before congratulating them on their accomplishments.

"Military children did not ask for this life and I have the greatest respect for their struggles. Military children serve every day and they are resilient, strong and brave," she said. "It's bravery that has you walk into a high school cafeteria the first day at a new school and not know anyone. You face adversity and stress every day of your life. And how did our scholarship winners face that stress? They accomplished and they achieved. I am so inspired by your courage."