Picatinny resident receives scholarship from Balfour Beatty Communities Foundation

By Eric KowalJuly 10, 2023

U.S. Army photo by Jesse Glass – (From Left) Mark Brandon (father), Ingrida Brandon (mother), Ann Jimenez (Operations Manager, Picatinny Homes), Mark Norman Brandon (scholarship winner), Lt. Col Alexander D. Burgos (Picatinny Arsenal garrison commander), and Luke Brandon (Mark’s brother).
U.S. Army photo by Jesse Glass – (From Left) Mark Brandon (father), Ingrida Brandon (mother), Ann Jimenez (Operations Manager, Picatinny Homes), Mark Norman Brandon (scholarship winner), Lt. Col Alexander D. Burgos (Picatinny Arsenal garrison commander), and Luke Brandon (Mark’s brother). (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Picatinny Arsenal officials and representatives from “Picatinny Homes” recently presented a $2500 college scholarship award to Mark Norman Brandon, 18, as part of the 2022 Balfour Beatty Communities Foundation scholarship program.

Balfour Beatty Communities manages the “Picatinny Homes” residential community which offers a variety of rental homes to active-duty Army families assigned to the northern New Jersey military installation. Balfour Beatty is one of the largest providers of privatized military housing to all U.S. Armed Forces.

Brandon is a 2023 graduate of Morris Knolls High School in nearby Rockaway, New Jersey, and has lived on post since 2018 after moving with his family from Kaiserslautern, Germany. His father, Mark Brandon, is an operations officer for the Joint Program Executive Officer Armaments and Ammunition (JPEO A&A) on Picatinny Arsenal.

This year Balfour Beatty Communities Foundation awarded 44 scholarships totaling more than $113,000 to residents living in military housing, multifamily housing, and student housing owned and managed by Balfour Beatty Communities. The annual scholarship program supports the foundation’s primary goal of encouraging and promoting the pursuit of education and commitment to community leadership.

“We are pleased to award these scholarships,” said Leslie Cohn, member of the Board of Directors at Balfour Beatty Communities Foundation. “Since its establishment, Balfour Beatty Communities Foundation has helped support the educational ambitions of more than 600 academic applicants across the country. We are honored to continue to deliver on our commitment of delivering exceptional living experiences through this important program.”

Brandon was the only recipient from Picatinny Arsenal. He will use the scholarship to continue his education at Montclair State University, where he intends to major in environmental engineering.

He received Presidential Letters for Academic Excellence from both Presidents Trump and Obama, and Summa Award which recognizes the academic achievement of students who have earned an overall average of 93.0 or better with no rounding throughout the entire academic year. As a result of achieving this status for all four high school years, Brandon was permitted wear the award at graduation.

Brandon was also a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and Delta Epsilon Phi for World Language in German. He also excelled in soccer at Morris Knolls and earned his varsity letter in both his junior and senior years. Brandon also worked at the Picatinny Arsenal Commissary where he bagged groceries for shoppers.

Additionally, Brandon excelled in scouting where he rose to the rank of the Eagle Scout and served in many Scout Leadership roles, including Senior Patrol Leader. As part of his Eagle Scout project, Brandon installed two benches for the fishing pond and one bench for reflection near the adjacent lake behind the Old Forge Chapel on post.