WASHINGTON, March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Children and spouses of U.S. troops are invited to apply for ThanksUSA scholarships beginning April 1, 2013. The organization's eighth annual application season helps military families pursue a university, college or post-secondary vocational education.
"These scholarships reflect Americans' gratitude for the commitment and sacrifices of our military men and women and their families," said ThanksUSA CEO and Chairman Bob Okun. "The gift of education is our way of saying thanks for their service."
ThanksUSA provides need-based scholarships to the children and spouses of active-duty personnel across all the Armed Forces, the National Guard and Reserves, as well as families of the fallen and wounded. Applications will be accepted through May 15, 2013 online at www.ThanksUSA.org.
ThanksUSA has awarded 2,800 scholarships so far and expects to exceed 3,000 scholarships by the end of 2013.
"In past years, we've received thousands of requests during the six-week application period – a clear indication of the support our military families need," said ThanksUSA Executive Director Michele Stork. "We expect an equally strong response in 2013. Our aim is to benefit 500 new recipients who most need and deserve the opportunity to transform their lives, but lack the resources to do so."
The 500 ThanksUSA scholarships are valued at $1.5 million in total and are made possible by continuing campaigns and events.
- Tennis Thanks the Troops – The United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) is championing this campaign for a second year, calling on its members, pros and tennis enthusiasts to participate in tournaments, raffles and other activities to benefit ThanksUSA starting Memorial Day weekend and throughout the year.
- Stevens Commemorative Scholarships – 2013 marks the third year of scholarships in honor of the late Senator Ted Stevens. An additional 40 scholarships are expected to be announced at a special event honoring the late Senator and other Congressional World War II veterans.
- Kaplan University Support – Also entering its third year as a ThanksUSA partner is Washington-based Kaplan University. Kaplan University provides a full scholarship to attend the school as well as a number of partial scholarships to cover 55 percent of tuition costs. "Kaplan University is once again pleased to participate with ThanksUSA and to offer scholarship opportunities to our military families," said Scott Kilgore, senior vice president of military affairs, Kaplan University.
- Jackson Casey Scholarship Fund –In partnership with ThanksUSA, the Fund, whose mission is to keep the memory and spirit of Jackson Casey alive throughout the community, was created to provide need-based scholarships to the children of active-duty military from Virginia with an emphasis on Northern Virginia. Through donations and the annual Jackson Casey Memorial Golf Tournament, the Fund raised more than $200,000 in 2012. For the 2012-2013 school year, 15 scholarships totaling $45,000 were awarded in Jackson Casey's name.
Support for ThanksUSA's education goals also comes from donors including Altria, Apex, the Blavatnik Family Foundation, ESA Foundation, Folds of Honor Foundation, Goldman Sachs Gives, Intelligent Decisions, Lockheed Martin, No Greater Sacrifice Foundation, Paladin Capital Group, Pershing Square Foundation and others.
ThanksUSA was the idea of two Virginia sisters, Rachel and Kelsi Okun, who were compelled to thank our troops for defending our nation and its freedoms. Since 2006, the 501(c)(3) non-profit has provided nearly $8.5 million in academic scholarship assistance to US military families throughout all 50 states, and all branches of service, with particular attention given to those whose loved one was killed or wounded in action.
For more information, eligibility requirements and to apply, visit www.ThanksUSA.org.
Founded in the fall of 2005, ThanksUSA, a non-partisan 501(c) (3) organization, is an effort to thank the men and women of our armed forces and their families for their service to the country with the gift of education. The organization provides need-based, post-secondary education opportunities to the children and spouses of active-duty status military personnel through competitive scholarships. For more information, please visit www.ThanksUSA.org.