For DonorsFor Applicants

Ben Brock Memorial Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$5,000
Application Deadline
Mar 1, 2024
Winners Announced
Mar 31, 2024
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school seniors, undergraduates, or graduate students
Field of Study:
Geography, software engineering, or computer science
Active military, veteran, or the family member of a veteran or active military member

Ben Brock was a lifelong learner in the fields of computer science and geography.

Ben was constantly improving himself by continuously developing new knowledge and skills, and he acted as a mentor to everyone around him and was happy to let others learn from him. 

This scholarship aims to honor the life of Ben Brock by supporting lifelong learners who are active military, veterans, or the family members of active military or veterans. 

Any high school senior, undergraduate student, or graduate student majoring in geography, software engineering, or computer science may apply for this scholarship if they’re active military members, veterans, or the family members of military members or veterans.

To apply, tell us how you became interested in geography or computer science/software engineering and what your connection to the military is.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published November 18, 2023
Essay Topic

Please tell us how you became interested in geography and/or computer science. Also, please tell us about your connection to the military or a veteran.

400–600 words

Winning Application

Emeley Brain
Eaglecrest High SchoolAURORA, CO
For my career, I would like to major in Computer Science and enter the field of data forensics working for local or state law enforcement, the FBI, or a national agency in the intelligence community. Through this field, I can continue serving my community and my country while challenging myself and doing something I enjoy. Both of my parents are veterans of the U.S. Army. My mother served in the intelligence community and my dad was assigned to artillery. Both of my parents served on active duty for over five years. My father continues to serve as a member of the National Guard while my mother has continued her federal service in the civilian ranks. I first became interested in computer science in my elementary school tech class, where we got to program Lego Robots. As I took more advanced computer science and cybersecurity classes through high school, I realized how much I enjoy the problem-solving and innovation involved in computer science. Several years ago, I was able to go to work with my mother on bring your kid to work day. The experience significantly shaped my thinking about my desired career. I met a team of computer programmers, and although they couldn't talk to me about their actual projects, they showed me several of their personal home projects. I always thought software engineers were introverts who hid at their desks and avoided contact with people. This team of developers challenged all of my assumptions about programmers and careers in computer science. They showed me the power of working in a team and how individual accomplishments could contribute to the larger goal. They were funny and outspoken and even though I had just met them, I felt like I fit right in. In my junior year of high school, I did a capstone class where we worked in teams to develop an innovative product for the technology industry. The team I worked on consisted of six very strong-minded people who often had differing opinions and ideas. I realized early on in this project that I'm a very goal-oriented person, and I am good at communicating information in terms that everyone understands, so I became the person in the group who helped organize our tasks, set deadlines, and explained to the people in our group working on the business side what was happening on the IT side. From this experience, I learned the major key to building an inclusive team is communication. I found we were not successful until everyone had a chance to, and felt capable of, communicating their ideas, opinions, plans, and reasoning. I learned I could make sure everyone had a voice that was heard. This experience has a special meaning to me because not only did I learn more about myself and how to build an inclusive team, but it also served as the foundation for my desired career choice in data forensics. Through all of these experiences, my desire and intent to enter the field of computer science solidified. I now know it's where I want to be and it's where I belong.
Joshua Nago Nago
University of Maryland-Baltimore CountyBel Air, MD
I became interested in Computer Science after trying to build a Python calculator. This experience sparked my curiosity and motivated me to learn more about the different careers in Computer Science and the various collegiate majors I could study. I started participating in more beginner projects and taught myself HTML and JavaScript, even studied for the CompTIA ITF+ exam (which I eventually obtained). My interest in Computer Science was further fueled by my desire to learn about the wide variety of careers within the field, such as software engineering, cybersecurity, analysis, computer hardware engineering, app development, data science, and game development. I began to see the Internet of Things everywhere, from using Zoom and fitness trackers to watching sports and driving a car. This realization that I can master the software and technical skills required to understand how these amazing applications work inspires and motivates me to pursue a career in computer science. My STEM internship at Aberdeen Proving Ground last summer also gave me a taste of the kind of environment I hope to find at my university and showed me that I don't have to be in uniform to serve this nation, as I worked with highly competent civilian engineers throughout the program. My counterparts at the internship came from different areas and backgrounds, but we all wanted to make ourselves better by participating in this amazing opportunity. For me in particular, the lab and mentor I was assigned to sparked my interest in computer networking and motivated me to pursue computer science as a major. The number of intelligent personel in the area only fueled my desire to learn more about computer networking by studying for the Cisco Certificate Network Associate (CCNA), enrolling in AP Computer Science, coding on a regular basis, subscribing to tech journals, and more. This wonderful opportunity gave me a glimpse of what it feels like to be part of a community of amazing people, and I hope to continue developing my skills and interests, as well as learning from and sharing my perspectives with my peers, at the collegiate level. My connection to the military is through my Dad, who has been active duty in the Army for the past 13 years. My Mom is also a government employee, currently working for the Department of Defense. I've always been grateful for the opportunity to travel as a military brat, and I've had the opportunity to learn about many different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. There are many different beautiful sites and scenes with many unique geographical destinations from Georgia to Oklahoma, Hawaii, Washington State, and Maryland. What I've come to conclude is that the human race may have different ideologies, cultural practices, and languages, but we are all fundamentally simple at heart, we all strive to obtain the basic necessities of life and live to support our families and friends.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Mar 1, 2024. Winners will be announced on Mar 31, 2024.

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