By Lisa R. RhodesMarch 11, 2013
How can a high school student affiliated with Fort Meade, who has completed a Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program and wants to enroll in college, pay tuition?By By applying for the Officers' Spouses' Club's annual JROTC Scholarship.
The OSC presents a financial award for academic achievement to a deserving, college-bound high school student who has completed the JROTC program at Meade High School or at a high school within a 35-mile radius of Fort Meade.
"We place a high value on commitment and service to our country," said Heather Thomas, scholarship chairperson. "We want to support a student who plans -- like many spouses -- to serve our country through military service."
The JROTC Scholarship, which requires a 2.5 GPA, is the club's only scholarship that does not require applicants to be a military dependent or dependent of an OSC member.
The OSC also offers the Merit Scholarship and Etta Baker Memorial Scholarship for academic achievement to high school graduates and college students who are military dependents and the child of an OSC member.
Applicants for the Merit Scholarship must have a 2.5 GPA, while applicants for the Etta Baker Memorial Scholarship must have a 3.0 GPA.
The Military Spouse Scholarship is awarded for academic achievement to military spouses who are completing an undergraduate degree. The recipient, who must have a 2.5 GPA, must be a member of OSC.
All four awards will be applied to the 2013 to 2014 academic school year.
Applications for all the scholarships must be postmarked by April 1. They are available at the OSC website at fortmeadeosc.org.
The OSC's annual scholarship award ceremony will be held in mid-May. Scholarship award recipients will receive an invitation in the mail.
Thomas said that although OSC is a social group, it is primarily a service organization that recognizes academic excellence and a commitment to the community.
"We appreciate young people who are not only leaders in the classroom but who are also leaders in the community," Thomas said. "Our past recipients were well-rounded individuals who were not just accomplished scholastically, but also were active in school and community activities."
Thomas said the club supports military spouses because of the difficulties they often face in attaining a post-secondary education.
"Many spouses begin a degree at one institution and have to transfer because their service member spouses are reassigned," Thomas said. "Relocating is just one of the obstacles. ... Realistically, a military spouse working on a degree may also be coping with deployment while juggling the needs of children without any help from extended family members."
The club holds fundraisers throughout the year to fund its scholarships. Last year, OSC awarded $10,000 in scholarships.
The club's biggest fundraisers are bingo in the fall, a holiday bazaar and the Old Joe Golf Tournament, which will be held April 12.
The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association's Central Maryland chapter provides funding for the Etta Baker Memorial Scholarship.