The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation presented more than 40 local students with scholarships during the Scholarship Announcement Ceremony at Marston Pavilion aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune July 10.
“Across the country this year, we are awarding 2,300 scholarships valued at over $6.8 million,” said Jeanette Casselano, vice president of advancement at the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. “We wouldn’t be able to award these scholarships if it wasn’t for the investors, and when people are investing in the foundation, they are investing in children raised on honor, courage and commitment.”
The organization was founded in 1962 and since then has provided more than 35,000 scholarships worth approximately $100 million to the children of Marines and Navy corpsmen.
“When my son was awarded the scholarship for the amount of $5,000 it was a huge blessing,” said Marine Corps Air Station Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron Sgt. Maj. Luis Leiva.
Leiva’s son, Isaiah, is a junior at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill studying nursing and is part of the Navy ROTC program.
“I don’t have to pick up a job while I’m at school,” said Isaiah. “I can just focus on ROTC and my studies. Before getting the scholarship I never really understood how much the Marine Corps looked after their own, and it shows that they look out for the children of the Marines and sailors. It made me have a greater appreciation and it’s part of the reason I want to give back to the Marine Corps.”
Isaiash plans on commissioning as an officer in the Marine Corps after graduating and returning the favor to the Marine Corps.
“The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation helps our Corps keep faith in our Marines, families and veterans,” said Brig. Gen. Robert F. Castellvi, Marine Corps Installations-East, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune commanding general. “It’s what makes that bold statement ‘we take care of our own, and that’s what it’s all about, taking care of our own.”