This blog post is part of a series celebrating our National Scholarship Announcement Ceremony and honoring the scholarship recipients and their families receiving scholarship support for the 2016-17 academic year. Today we are featuring a post written by one of our scholars, Isaiah Leiva, a rising senior at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
The U.S. Marine Corps has always been a part of my life, and there were definitely difficult aspects to growing up in a Marine household: the deployments, several week or month-long training evolutions, and the moving around every two to three years. Though these things were difficult at times, they also established a sense of resilience that have made each of my family members stronger. Being surrounded by the Marine Corps my entire life has allowed me to see how the values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment shape Marines and their families, including my own. The positive impact these core values have had on my life is evident by my desire to join the Marine Corps just as my father did 25 years ago. The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation has helped me on that path.
Throughout my time at UNC Chapel Hill, I’ve served as a leader in several organizations on campus. Since my freshman year, I have been a midshipman in the Naval Reserves Officer Training Corps (NROTC). Because of my involvement with NROTC, I was afforded numerous leadership opportunities, including my involvement with the new student orientation and becoming a Resident Advisor (RA) on campus. Within both roles, I have been identified as a leader and have been given the opportunity to mentor incoming students and also mentor the students who live in my dorm.
As I approach my senior year, the greatest impact I hope to leave on my University is through my involvement in the NROTC program. I hope to impact the way the members of the program view the value of mentorship and military leadership. I hope that the core values of the program and the shared values among my fellow midshipmen not only impacts those also involved in the program, but also my peers throughout the entire University. I hope the dedication, commitment and service of my fellow midshipmen will help to develop an even greater sense of appreciation for the military on campus and within the local community. I am honored and proud to say that upon graduation, I will be commissioned as a 2ndLt in the United States Marine Corps.
The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is much more than an organization that provides students with financial support; the Scholarship Foundation invests time and effort in the professional development of the students who awarded scholarships year-to-year. The support system that the Foundation has provided me over the years has definitely made me a better person and a better leader. Most importantly, the Foundation has given me the unique opportunity to actually focus on my academics instead of focusing my energy on finding part-time employment or taking out loans to pay for college, because the financial burden was too much to bear.
In addition to academic support, the Scholarship Foundation has allowed me to build relationships with other scholarship recipients and their families during the Foundation’s annual Scholarship Announcement Ceremonies. The Scholarship Foundation has also helped me develop various leadership skills, and this support has prepared me to take on tasks and assignments in the classroom, and chase the dreams I wish to achieve outside of the classroom. Every success I have, every accomplishment I make, and every hurdle I overcome, can be tied to the support I received from the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. #WhyMCSF
Can’t make it to the 2016 Scholarship Announcement Ceremony in Washington DC this year? You can still be part of the action! Share what the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation has meant to you using #WhyMCSF and your message will be shared during our National Scholarship Announcement Ceremony on July 27!