JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- (July 20, 2015) After years of working to pay for college, a Mission and Installation Contracting Command analyst here was recently awarded a $15,000 scholarship to help pay for his education.Harry Staley, a procurement analyst for the MICC, was notified of his selection in May for the Whataburger Scholarship from the Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation.Each year, the foundation strives to identify and recognize the "best of the best" of Texas and awards scholarships to students from participating Texas universities."When I found out that I was being interviewed as one of the final three to be interviewed for the scholarship, I felt honored and humbled," Staley said. "I felt honored that I was selected as one of the three and humbled to be able to converse with the leaders on the interview panel. The day that I found out that I was selected as a scholarship recipient I was thankful. It was an answer to my family's prayers."The foundation's mission is to develop Texas business students into future leaders by acknowledging and helping underwrite the promise they demonstrate. They accomplish this by assisting them to pursue their degrees in Texas schools by funding a scholarship award program."Staley's achievements in and out of the classroom exemplify the qualities the Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation looks for in future Texas business leaders," said Dr. Evan Melrose, vice president of scholarship for the foundation. "He should be proud of his significant accomplishments. It is our sincere hope that this scholarship will help him take his future endeavors to greater heights."Staley credits his life events as motivation to persevere and succeed. In August 2000, during his junior year in college, Staley's life changed forever when he suffered a catastrophic retinal detachment, becoming unable to continue college and, as a result, lost the scholarship that afforded him his education."I soon found myself in the precarious situation of living on the razor's edge of homelessness," Staley said. "As a blind person, I struggled to find the most basic of jobs. Even though the Americans with Disabilities Act was the law, I still could not find work. Due to my perceived limitations as an employee time after time I heard managers say 'I don't think you would be the right fit for our company' even though I had all of the qualifications."Through research he soon discovered the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 79 percent of people with disabilities over the age of 16 were identified as "not in the labor force." It was then Staley decided it was in his best interest to find work in the new information-based economy."The one driving force behind all of my successes is the core belief that no matter where you find yourself your leadership and core entrepreneurial skills will always carry you even if you work for someone else," Staley said. "I have treated every job as if it were my business, operating as if my customers were all around me."Being interested in technology, Staley studied on his own to gain the skills needed to get a job and achieve his dreams."To gain skills I needed, I went to my local community college to get extra training in computer repair, networking and business," Staley said. "I also understood that I would need to be more qualified than my peers to overcome my perceived weaknesses."In May 2011, Staley broke through those perceived weakness and began working for the MICC. Today he serves as the technical assistant to the program manager for the Contracting Tactical Operations Center. Staley is also the lead technical representative on the Configuration Control Board for Virtual Contracting Enterprise Contract Management and is responsible for recommending and assisting in the selection of new functions to be implemented in VCE-CM."Harry is a fantastic co-worker," said John Campos, a procurement analyst for the MICC. "He routinely offers expert advice in advanced business analytical methods using Excel and the Virtual Contracting Enterprise business intelligence tool. His training and assistance introduced report scheduling, cross-table lookups and other methods to help advance the branch's analytical processes."Staley plans to use the funds to pay for the books and supplies and complete his Bachelor of Science with a double major in Computer Science and Mathematics from Texas A&M at San Antonio and then a Master of Science in Data Analysis from Texas A&M in Dallas."I believe that one day I will own a technology consulting business and give back by providing jobs to those like myself who are highly motivated, have the drive, and entrepreneurial spirit that it takes to succeed no matter their perceived limitations," Staley said.