Story by SMSgt 307th Bomb Wing Public Affairs on 06/14/2019Representatives from the Shreveport Bossier Military Affairs Council were on hand here May 10 to present 20 Barksdale Airmen with educational scholarships of $1000 each.
In a letter announcing the recipients, Kathi Smith, Shreveport Bossier MAC executive director, referred to the quality and depth of the applicant pool.
"As in previous years, the competition was extremely tough," she said. "Even though these applicants are only a small representation of the Airmen assigned to Barksdale, they clearly demonstrate the commitment to excellence and the outstanding character of our Armed Forces today."
Scholarship applicants were judged on academic accomplishments, academic and professional goals, community service, leadership, and financial need.
Master Sgt. Amber Perry, who serves in the 307th Bomb Wing's Inspector General Inspector office, has won the scholarship in 2017 and 2019. For her, the money is a great way to fill in gaps in tuition funding.
"I passed my G.I. Bill down to my son, so having access to this scholarship is awesome," she said.
She also stressed the importance of what the money represents in terms of how it indirectly benefits the military. Perry is pursuing a bachelors in Emergency and Disaster Management, a career field directly related to her military duties in the Air Force Reserve and her civilian job at Air Force Global Strike Command headquarters.
"My degree helps me understand disaster response outside the base and how it relates to what we are doing at Barksdale, so it is cool to see how they are related and interact with one another," she said.
Staff Sgt. Sara Hagmeier, an aircraft scheduler with the 307th Maintenance Group, and Senior Airman Diamond McNutt, 307th Logistics Readiness Squadron materials helper, also received scholarships.
McNutt, who is pursuing a degree in Biology and plans to become a physician's assistant, was unsure about her prospects of getting the scholarship when she first applied.
"When I found out about winning the scholarship, I was very grateful. It's a great opportunity," she said.
Like McNutt and Perry, Hagmeier is thankful for the monetary help the scholarship provides. But she also feels the MAC recognizing her efforts was just as important as the financial reward.
"It feels good to win such an honor, especially since there were only 20 people across the entire base who won a scholarship," she said. "I'm forever grateful."
The Shreveport Bossier MAC has offered the scholarship since 2013, giving out more than $60,000 in tuition assistance since the program's inception.
To find out more about the scholarship and the application process, visit the Shreveport-Bossier MAC website at sbmilitaryaffairs.com and click on the programs link. Potential applicants can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (318) 429-2418.