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Boatswain’s Mate Third Class Antonie Bernard Thomas Memorial Scholarship

Funded by
user profile avatar
Chris Thomas
1st winner$492
2nd winner$491
3rd winner$442
Application Deadline
Nov 7, 2023
Winners Announced
Dec 7, 2023
Education Level
Undergraduate, Graduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Undergraduate or graduate student
Military service member, police officer, or family of military or police

Boatswain’s Mate Third Class, Antonie “Tony” Bernard Thomas served in the United States Navy from 1986 to 1995 and was also a retired Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Police Officer

Tony was a loving man and the epitome of a father. There were no limits to the things he would do to put a smile on his daughter’s face and he was the most down-to-earth man you could know. Tony was a selfless listener, generous spirit, and fierce friend who passed away too soon after a battle with Coronavirus.

This scholarship seeks to honor the memory of Antonie “Tony” Bernard Thomas by supporting a student who is pursuing higher education. 

Any undergraduate or graduate student who is a military service member, police officer, or family member of a military or police officer may apply for this scholarship. 

To apply, tell us how you display the traits of strong leadership and communication skills, resilience, selflessness, focus and determination, and strong work ethic. Additionally, tell us about your goals, your inspiration for pursuing a degree, and what leadership means to you.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published August 12, 2023
Essay Topic

1- Strong leadership and communication skills

2- Resilient 

3- Unselfish 

4- Focused/determined

5- Strong work ethic

Describe how you display the five traits above in your everyday routine. Please also share your future goals, the reason why you are pursuing a degree, and explain what leadership means to you.

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Jeremy Vester
Liberty UniversityValley City, OH
Growing up in a household where both of my parents served active duty for 20 years in United States Navy, I learned the meaning of servitude and sacrifice. My mother who was born and raised in Jamaica, overcame obstacles in pursuit of her goals. She taught me the importance of hard work and dedication. While my father who was born and raised in Michigan, seeking new opportunities and a chance at a better life, taught me the importance of discipline. During my parent’s time in the service, there were moments where my father would deploy out to sea for 6-month iterations and my mom would hold down the fort, looking after me and my siblings. In these moments, I watched as two sailors rose to the occasion and did what was necessary to support each other. Making sure that their family’s needs were taken care of, while still ensuring mission accomplishment for their commands. They did not do this alone; but they had the support of their church family, who prayed for them and offered a helping hand in times of need. In these moments I began to realize what is most important, that being my faith, family, and having a heart of servitude. As I grew up, I became fond of sports, I remember trying out for the middle school wrestling team with my older brother. Where I was fascinated with the idea of learning techniques, getting stronger, and becoming a great competitor. It was something about the training, preparation, and hard work that it took to defeat opponents that fascinated me. As I progressed, I began investing my time and efforts to be the best wrestler I could be, in my mind I was a warrior getting ready for battle. This became my passion as I grew up, and I discovered my desire to be part of a team that worked together to accomplish a common goal. Upon graduating middle school and competing in high school, I became a 4-time state qualifier and eventually went on to graduate high school and join the Central College wrestling team, where I competed Division III and became a national qualifier. As my time in wrestling concluded, I still desired to be apart of a team, but one that made an even greater impact on the lives of others. So, I commissioned in the United States Marine Corps. 1. Leadership to me is not only leading from the front but setting the example. Understanding one’s team, learning their strengths and weaknesses so they can be effectively employed. Getting to know one’s members and learning ways to keep them engaged. 2. Learning resiliency by creating buy in, igniting a desire for the team to meet the mission at hand. Resilience is a way to measure the heart of a man. Are they willing to put in the work or just quit when things get tough. 3. Unselfishness comes by treating others the way you want to be treated. My favorite quote is by Martin Luther King Jr states “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others”. 4. When someone has truly understood their purpose and calling, they maintain focus and determination. Being focused comes from knowing the importance of accomplishing what one has set out to do. 5.I have learned that hard work pays off. I have seen sacrifices made by my parents and my Marines to be the best they can be. That comes from understanding that nothing is given, but it must be earned.
Terell Burgess
Community College of Baltimore CountyROCKVILLE, MD
Being a mentor Being a Mentor: Empowering Individuals and Building Stronger Communities I. Introduction Being a mentor is an invaluable role that plays a significant part in the growth and development of individuals and the overall well-being of communities. Mentoring involves providing guidance, support, and motivation to help individuals overcome challenges and achieve their goals. By sharing knowledge, experiences, and skills with others, mentors can impact the lives of those they mentor. II. Personal Experience as a Mentor Throughout my years as a mentor, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of mentoring relationships. One particular experience stands out: mentoring a young student who struggled academically due to personal circumstances. I provided academic support through regular meetings by helping him develop effective study strategies and time management skills. Additionally, I served as a source of emotional support, listening attentively to his concerns and offering advice when needed. III. Benefits of Mentoring for Individuals Individuals who have mentors often experience numerous benefits throughout their journey. Firstly, having a mentor guides you in navigating various aspects of life, such as education, career choices, or personal relationships. According to research by Rhodes et al. (2006), mentored youth are more likely to graduate from high school and pursue higher education than those without mentors. Moreover, mentoring offers individuals emotional support during challenging times by providing them with someone who genuinely cares about their well-being (Bland et al., 2017). This emotional connection fosters resilience and helps individuals cope with adversities more effectively. IV. Impact on the Community Mentoring not only benefits individuals but also has profound effects on community-building efforts. When people receive guidance from mentors who encourage them to reach their full potential personally and professionally, they are more likely to become active members of society (DuBois & Karcher, 2005). As a result, communities become stronger and more cohesive. Furthermore, mentors often play a crucial role in addressing social issues that plague communities. By guiding individuals away from negative influences and toward positive alternatives, mentors reduce crime rates and improve community well-being (DuBois & Karcher, 2005). V. Conclusion In conclusion, mentoring is an impactful role that positively impacts individuals and the community. Through personal experiences as a mentor, I have witnessed the transformative power of mentoring relationships firsthand. Mentoring provides guidance, support, and motivation for individuals to overcome challenges and achieve their goals. Additionally, it contributes to building stronger communities by empowering individuals to become active members of society. As we reflect on the importance of being a mentor, it is evident that this role has far-reaching effects on personal growth and community development. The benefits experienced by mentees are vast - from academic success to emotional resilience. Moreover, through mentoring relationships, individuals gain the tools necessary to contribute positively to their communities. Therefore, I encourage everyone to consider becoming a mentor in their capacity. By sharing our knowledge and experiences with others who may benefit from them, we can create lasting change in individual lives and within our larger communities - fostering an environment where everyone thrives together.
Aaron Shields
University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CA
Growing up in a military household, with my father dedicating 20 years to the Air Force, I inherited invaluable lessons in strong leadership, discipline, and respect for others. Additionally, my father instilled in me the belief that service to family, community, and country should be central to my life, significantly influencing my everyday choices and actions, including strong leadership and communication skills, resilience, unselfishness, focus, and a strong work ethic. As a student at the University of Southern California (USC), I actively participate as a team lead for the Los Angeles County Homeless Count, where I consistently apply my strong leadership and communication skills to engage with homeless individuals, survey their conditions, and seek ways to enhance their lives. Juggling three jobs, along with essential commitments like tutoring students in South Central and organizing community service events as a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., underscores my daily resilience. Unselfishness and an unwavering commitment to serving the community are integral to my values, reflected in my role as a dedicated member of the Beta Omega chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., where I organize impactful community events. My active involvement in organizing food drives for the homeless population living on Skid Row directly addresses the pressing issue of homelessness in Los Angeles, deepening my commitment to unselfishness and strengthening my resolve to make a tangible difference in the lives of those less fortunate. In pursuit of my degree in computer science at USC, my unwavering dedication and strong work ethic drive my success, allowing me to excel academically and contribute to the betterment of society through research and app development. Looking toward the future, my goal is to utilize my education and skills to make a positive impact in my community by teaching students from low-income backgrounds how to code and helping them pursue careers in STEM fields. My motivation for pursuing a degree in computer science is deeply personal, driven by the desire to attain a stable and fulfilling career that will enable me to care for my parents, who have sacrificed so much for me. For me, leadership means embodying the characteristics mentioned above and making sacrifices for the greater good. It involves taking charge, navigating obstacles, and setting an example for those you lead. My father's teachings and my experiences in community service and education have shaped my understanding of leadership, emphasizing the importance of serving others and inspiring positive change. I believe that strong leadership and communication skills, resilience, unselfishness, focus, and a strong work ethic are integral components of my everyday routine, guiding my actions and aspirations. These qualities align with my future goals and my desire to make a meaningful impact in the world, enabling me to contribute to the betterment of my community, my country, and the lives of those who need it most.
Bernard Jackson
Troy UniversityFort Campbell, KY
1.) As a strong leader I'm always authentic. People value honesty and sincerity in their leaders so that's what I try to resemble. I always try to have a vivid imagination; seeing everyone's perspective. Communication is key. The better we communicate the stronger our trust and loyalty becomes. I have this group chat set up on my iPhone where I can constantly communicate with my fellow soldiers. 2.) In my own words, resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficult times in life. Resilience comes from the lessons and skills we absorb as we grow up and as we face all our difficulties whatever they are. Being in army help me become more resilient. I am able to handle every and anything this world is able to throw at me. And get back up like nothing every happen. I woke up knowing that life is a challenge that is waiting to knock me down, but my army spirit constantly brings me back to my feet. 3.) As I leader I'm always willing to put others needs and wishes before my own. Whether it's in training or dinner chow my team comes first. With that being said, my followers are willing to follow my great leaderships. Unselfishness makes me a great leader. I have put my fellow soldiers ahead of me so many times that it becomes a way of life. Especially when it comes to safety. As an infantry men it's part of my job to defend this country . Having my soldiers back and putting them first brings cohesiveness so therefore we can work as a team and do what we are train to do ;Protect American lifes. 4.) Everyday I tell myself that the world is mine. I do this on a routine bases so it could process in my brain. I often reward myself for each milestone I complete to stay determined and motivated. As long as I follow my routine there is know way I can fail. Staying focus to me is the key to success. To do anything in life you have to stay consistent. So far my routine has been working well so I plan on keeping it but, if needed it will subject to change in the near future. 5.) I'm always the first to come and last to leave work. I always try to go above and beyond to get the job done. Staying fit inside the gym gives me a real confidence booster. It motivates me and keeps me determined. I typically work 60+ hours a week so my work ethic it better than average.
Nolan Coleman
Southern New Hampshire UniversityWichita, KS
To whom it may concern, My name is Nolan Coleman and the main thing in my life are my relationship with God, my role as a husband and future father, and my continued service as a United States Marine. I will be adding the title of Wichita City Police Officer in January when I start the academy. I am studying online at Southern New Hampshire University in Criminal Justice in order to develop my knowledge and ability to make a difference in my country and within my community. I have served as a leader as an Eagle Scout, Commanding officer of my high school, Annapolis NJROTC program, and as a rifle team commander. After high school, I followed Gods plan for me and went on a two year church service and proselyting mission in Sacramento, California. We focused of preaching of Christ, serving our neighbors and planning service projects and helping at local food banks as well. I served in leadership for over 18 months of the 24 months, working to create goals, standards and excellence within my fellow missionaries. This was fulltime and required dedication to our beliefs and a strong work ethic and resilience to go out everyday and face the tediousness of doing the almost same routine everyday for two years. Within the Marine Corps, I am a Corporal. As an Non Commissioned Officer of Marines is a big role to acquire and one I do not take lightly. I have personally lost a Marine to Suicide and another to Drug addiction. This has led me to focus mainly, in my style of leadership, on the welfare of my Marines and subsequently those I meet everyday in life. I also have to utilize communication and delegation when we preform our training operations. People can easily work less effectively when communication from the leader is harsh or without care for them. My MOS of 1391, Bulk Fuel Specialist, requires efficiency as we move and lay out portable fuel sites and fuel aircraft and land vehicles. This requires hard work and an effective team that can communicate well in crunch time. I currently work as a security officer at a local mall, where I live, as I wait to start my police career in January. We often deal with homeless, mentally ill, and youth. These groups require more understanding and tactfulness when involved in a situation. This job has greatly increased my skills in communication for such reasons. My life has been filled with leadership roles, desire to be better and the most important giving up as much of myself in the benefit of others. I seek to assist my country, community and family through my work and personal interactions. I have been resilient through ruthless training and opposition to who I am and what I believe and stand true to what is true. I have no greater desire than to continue to develop the traits of a leader and especially that of a selfless friend of all I meet.
Kristin Kirby
Cambridge College of Healthcare & TechnologyWarner Robins, GA
Courageous – is the act of being ready and willing to face negative circumstances involving danger or pain. Being courageous is the reason why I am applying to this scholarship now. I decided to take a leap of faith during the process of me getting my second degree. My courageousness will be the beginning of financial freedom for my family and I. In less than seven years my goal is to be debt free and I will begin the process of helping my mother get debt free as well. At the start of 2020, I had no idea that the media studies degree I was going to school for was not going to be used right away. Due to the coronavirus, healthcare jobs started to spike leaving upcoming media studies students jobs very slim. As a 19 year old dropping out of school didn’t seem like the best option. During my time at Fort Valley State University, It was very productive. I joined a number of community service organizations that built my character as an unselfish, caring, focused, patient student with increased strengths in work ethics. A few organizations I joined were The Blue Coat Ambassadors, a group of collegiate students who serve the President of Fort Valley State University, his colleagues, students, alumni, and staff at all special events held on or off FVSU’s campus. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP to ensure the political, educational, equality of minority group citizens of States and eliminate race prejudice, and Mary Magdalene a group that trained me to assist people who have been sexually abused or harassed. I didn’t realize that staying, and not using my degree right away would put me in more debt than I already was. I had aspirations to be a doctor but I didn’t want to stay in school 8 to 10 years or more but I knew I wanted to have a healthcare job to help and to serve people who may have medical issues. I remained resilient in my decision to stay and God spoke a word over my life. It wasn’t until the beginning of 2022 where I discovered sonography, I was scrolling on TikTok and it found me. Sonography is the perfect job for combining healthcare and photography. This is what I am destined to do. So now with a bachelors degree in media studies, I’m going back to school for my associates degree in sonography. It takes a real courageous person to have $28,000 worth of debt and go back to school for $50,000 with high hopes to get rid of their debt and to have financial freedom before the age of 30. This is what courageous looks like. I refuse to settle and to give up on my dreams, that is how people get depressed because they lose the thrill of life due to circumstances. “Be the change you want to see”, is one of my favorite quotes. I am a God fearing woman who is exercising her faith by walking by faith and not by sight. I also have brains because at Fort Valley State University my last semester ended with a 3.6 GPA. Kristin Kirby is more than capable of becoming a registered diagnostic medical sonography. Taking those good risks, will be my token to an awesome life. God is going to bless me so that I can ultimately bless others. I first must go through the process of continuing to be courageous, kind, and becoming wiser.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Nov 7, 2023. Winners will be announced on Dec 7, 2023.

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