Story by PO3 Connor Loessin on 07/02/2019Bailey Kramarik, a freshman at James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, Va., is this year's recipient of the Wings over America, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Scholarship awardee.
The Wings over America, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Scholarship is presented annually to students who are siblings or dependents of past and present active duty Sailors aboard Ford. Her father, Capt. R Scott Kramarik, served as Ford's first navigation officer.
"I feel extremely grateful to be recognized by Ford," said Kramarik. "I cannot express how truly grateful I am to be the recipient of this scholarship from the Ford and hope to live up to the Integrity at the Helm' motto."
As a JMU Dean's List student, Kramarik sports an impressive list of active involvement in school organizations. She is the Leadership Coordinator of the American Sign Language Club, a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, participates in the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, and plays viola in the JMU Symphony Orchestra.
"She is a very impressive student deserving of this award," said Cmdr. Michael Register, Ford's mini boss. "We are proud of her achievements, her goal to help others through the study of speech pathology and her connection to the crew as the daughter of Ford's first navigator."
Earning this scholarship was not solely based off Kramarik's academic accomplishments. The scholarship also highlights the awardees' work done around their community. Kramarik volunteered countless hours teaching American Sign Language to adults with disabilities and assists the JMU office of admissions in the Proudly Assisting and Welcoming Students (PAWS) club.
Kramarik will be applying the scholarship toward her education at JMU, where she is majoring in communications sciences and disorders, as well as studying speech language pathology.
"For my career, I aspire to use American Sign Language to help children who are deaf or hard of hearing communicate," said Kramarik. "I want to give a huge thanks to the Ford crew for giving me the opportunity to excel in my academic career at James Madison University. Go Dukes and fly navy!"
For more information on the Wings Over America, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) & Maritime Patrol Association Scholarship, please visit the Wings Over America Scholarship Foundation's website www.wingsoveramerica.us.
Gerald R. Ford is a first-in-class aircraft carrier and the first new aircraft carrier designed in more than 40 years. Ford is currently undergoing its post-shakedown availability at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding.
For more news from USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), visit www.dvidshub.net/unit/CVN78 or www.facebook.com/USSGeraldRFord