For DonorsFor Applicants

Patriots Path Scholarship

Funded by
5 winners, $1,000 each
Application Deadline
May 1, 2024
Winners Announced
Jun 1, 2024
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior or undergraduate student

The JROTC and ROTC are critical development programs that can prepare young people for heroic careers in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Marines.

The JROTC has over 550,000 students participating across the country, preparing students for life after graduation even if they don’t opt to go into military service. JROTC participants have higher graduation rates and GPAs and can benefit from ROTC scholarships if they pursue college.

This scholarship aims to support JROTC and ROTC participants by making college more affordable and accessible.

Any high school senior in JROTC or undergraduate student in ROTC who has at least a 3.0 GPA may apply for this scholarship.

To apply, tell us about yourself, why you’ve chosen a military career path, and what other activities you’ve participated in to prepare you to serve your country.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Boldest Profile
Published July 11, 2023
Essay Topic

Please tell us a bit about yourself and why you’ve chosen a military career path. Besides JROTC/ROTC involvement, what other activities/organizations have you participated in that further prepare you for service to your country?

400–600 words

Winning Applications

Anazari Pedro Garcia
Dunbar High SchoolFort Myers, FL
My name is Anazari Pedro Garcia, I am a seventeen-year-old high school senior. I come from a Mexican decent family. Taking that into consideration I am bilingual, I speak both English and Spanish. I am seen as resourceful by teachers and instructors as am fluent in both languages and am capable of translating. When tasked to do something like translating I make it my priority to make sure that I am understood that way anyone and everyone is successful. I have been part of the JROTC program since freshman year at Dunbar High School. I currently wear the rank of cadet, First Lieutenant. The JROTC program has helped me become a better version of myself and has helped me prepare for my life after high school. For my career, I have decided upon Police Identification and Records Officer. I am confident that I will succeed in this career field because it has always been my passion and when I discovered that I could also take a U.S. Army path I became even more enthusiastic about my choice. I have chosen a military career path because I am determined to improve my leadership skills and I am willing to grow along the way. I was part of the JROTC Raider team freshman year during the spring season. In sophomore year I was on the varsity female team that year we made it to State competitions. Due to personal situations, I was not able to be a part of the Raider team during my junior year but I am now taking part of the Raider team for my last year. I have participated in community service alongside the JROTC program and outside of the program. I have assisted in parking details for home football games. I have assisted at home track and field meets, and I have helped in everything from signing in athletes to helping judges with the event they are at. Although I have always known what I wanted to do after high school I knew I couldn't do it all on my own. I was recommended for the AVID program after freshman year and have been a part of the program ever since sophomore year. During my junior year, I was invited to join the National Honors Society. Upon receiving the invitation I reached out to my teacher and instructor of preference and asked if they would be willing to write a letter of recommendation for me. Thanks to my dedication and ethics for my education I was admitted into the National Honors Society with the help of the letters of recommendation that both my teacher and instructor gladly provided.
Hollis Paradis
University of Southern CaliforniaGainesville, GA
My name is Hollis Paradis. I grew up in Northern Georgia, and I am currently a third-year undergraduate student at the University of Southern California, studying Business Administration with an emphasis on consulting. I and the people in my major have learned technical and soft skills from our studies that have made us the ideal entry-level associates in the eyes of any recruiting Big 8 consulting firm. Many of my peers will go on to join companies like KPMG or Deloitte following our graduation, where they will work comfortable jobs as data analysts or consultants. However, I will not be taking that route. Although I am a business student at USC, I am also a Marine Option Midshipman in NROTC. Upon graduation, I will be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. Reflecting on my journey, it's remarkable to consider where I stand today compared to four years ago. At seventeen, I was a junior in high school, and the only extracurricular activity I participated in was football. I had no discernable skills, only one or two AP classes under my belt, and my grades were nothing to gasp at. I was an average football player who seldom played in varsity games. My human capital at that time, compared to some of the other students in my grade, was not up to par. I didn’t necessarily feel that I was lacking in vision; I had aspirations to go to university like my friends did, but I didn’t fully understand what that meant at the time. At home, I had a very unstable family structure. My father walked out on me, and my mother was an unemployed alcoholic who lived off of my grandmother’s social security paychecks. She would often belittle me whenever she was drunk, telling me I was never going to accomplish anything. Which, at the time, meant a lot to seventeen-year-old me; I believed her words as the truth. When I wasn’t being emotionally abused by my mother, I found myself idle, wasting away without any real purpose, using football and other distractions as a means of escape from this unpleasant life I was living. As I became more aware of my situation, I became more inclined to take action. I had no means of paying for college, so I knew the military was an option for me to get out of my home and have a renewed start. I signed up to take a military aptitude test (ASVAB) at school. I scored well enough to receive the attention of recruiters. I leveraged my desire to find a sense of purpose and pursue higher education to apply for an NROTC program, and I was fortunate enough to be selected. Since then, I have learned from my peers and superiors in NROTC that I am and always have been capable of being the best version of myself. Choosing a military career path has afforded me the skills I need to be a successful leader and model person during my service and onward. I joined with the idea that a career in the military could get me out of an undesirable home situation, but I have chosen to stay because of the people. Knowing that I can one day make positive, life-altering impacts on the Marines I will soon lead motivates me to pursue excellence as the Midshipman I am now and the Officer I will soon become.
Aldo Ceron
San Diego High International StudiesSAN DIEGO, CA
As a first-generation high school graduate, I did not grow up in the wealthiest family. I am the oldest of 5 siblings and had to learn about school and colleges to teach my siblings because my parents didn't know about it. We have encountered several challenges in our lives and overcome them. Growing up, I had a limited perspective of life and didn’t know what career paths I wanted to pursue after I finished high school. I just knew I wanted to do something to help people or to make a great change in my community. As I was going through 8th grade and starting my freshman year, I was exposed to various career paths. I am an extrovert so I’m one of those people that wants to try out everything. At the end of my freshman year, I already knew what kind of environment or career I wanted to pursue. For my career, I want something that will be physically and mentally challenging most of it being hands-on. As soon as I turned 16, and was legally able to work or volunteer anywhere, I started going out and trying to find anything I could put my hands on. I found the San Diego Police Cadet program. The cadet program teaches me and shows me what it is to be a police officer in the community. There I do ride-alongs with a police officer for their entire shift every month, go undercover as a minor and intend to buy alcohol from clerks, and volunteer for events such as December nights, Comic-con, Marathons, etc. I am also part of our color guard team which I have participated in the Holiday Bowl Parade, MLK Parade, and St. Patrick Parade. Another team I am part of is the Recruiting team. My fellow cadets and I go to different high schools to recruit students from 16 to 21 years of age. Every second Monday of the month, we hold a recruiting meeting at the police station where new people come to apply. In my school at San Diego High School, I also joined AJROTC (Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp.) to learn about leadership improve my mind and strengthen my body. My goals and aspirations after high school are to get accepted at a 4-year University majoring in Criminal Justice and enroll in ROTC during college. After graduating from university, I want to be commissioned into the Army as an Officer for 4 years. Once I am honorably discharged, I am going to pursue my actual career as a Police officer in San Diego. I believe a college education will provide me with the academic and social resources needed to further develop my passion for law enforcement. I hope to major in criminal law and justice and possibly study criminal theory or psychology. As a Police cadet, I intend to continue my community service work and collaborate with a change in my community. As I embark on this next chapter of my life, I am eager to find out what is waiting for me. I am prepared to embrace the challenges expand my horizons, and continue to accomplish my goals. I am excited to be part of a diverse college community where I can learn and have fun at the same time.
Lindsay Templeton
George Washington UniversityRaleigh, NC
I have always wanted to be a doctor. I am a cancer survivor and, because of my own experiences in healthcare, have always felt that urge to help others when they are sick and injured. In my senior year of high school, I earned my EMT certification and fell in love with both emergency and out-of-hospital medicine. I also met many paramedics who were or had been military service members and they helped me realize that I wanted to pursue a career in military medicine. I am now a freshman in college at George Washington University. I have not decided on a major yet, but I know it will be either biology or chemistry with a pre-med concentration. I am in Army ROTC with the Hoya Battalion and am a simultaneous membership cadet with the DC Army National Guard. Additionally, I have recently begun working as a special events EMT at American Medical Response and began emergency medical scribe classes through my school. And I’m loving it. My life is so busy - I wake up no later than five at least four mornings a week, I am taking mostly STEM classes this semester, and most months I have drill and ROTC field training. But I love it. I have found my passion. While I did not make the competition team, I practiced with the Ranger Challenge team for several weeks in September and am joining them again this semester as they restart practices. Ranger Challenge taught me how TCCC works, how to carry an injured battle buddy, and how to call a 9-line MEDEVAC request. I also learned non-medical skills, like grenade-throwing, weapons assembly and disassembly, and how to make a Swiss harness and one-rope bridge. I felt alive with purpose during those sessions and was excited to wake up every morning, even as early as it was. I did not make the decision to join ROTC lightly. I knew that, as a woman, I couldn’t and there are obvious risks when joining the military in general. My parents were incredibly reluctant to support my decision, but now that they see me growing and thriving and surrounding myself with equally passionate and dedicated individuals, I think they know it is the right decision as well. They know I want to help people in any way that I can, and they know that this path will allow me to do that. Whether rescuing people in hurricanes or being deployed to treat soldiers in combat, they know that this is my calling.
Madeline Karsonovich
St Thomas Aquinas SchoolHampton Falls, NH
Kendall Nowak
Purdue University-Main CampusW LAFAYETTE, IN
All my life, I have wanted to serve. Whether through volunteering or leading my AFJROTC Corps as Commander, I have always needed to help people. As an accomplished student and JROTC cadet, I have contemplated what I wanted for my future. I knew I did not want to enlist since I have a strong passion for learning, but I wanted to serve my community and nation in some way. I decided to apply for the Army and Air Force ROTC National Scholarship for High School Students in November of 2022. Within two months, I shortened my mile time from 12 minutes to 7:57, and I went from struggling through 11 pushups to knocking out 35. I have never let struggles or the idea of struggling get in my way. I persevere through any task, no matter how daunting. This attitude will help me through a career as a military officer. In the Army, I will face more challenges than I can begin to comprehend. But, everything I face will shape me into the person I am meant to become. Serving in the military fits into my overall career plan since I perform my best in structured environments, and I have prepared for different leadership roles my entire life. I spent the summer of 2021 volunteering with Cradles to Crayons in Philadelphia, where I led groups of volunteers as they worked in the warehouse. I taught the groups how to do each station, as well as aided them when confused. I was also orchestra president for two years during high school. In this position, I organized events to help the orchestra bond and become closer. This will help me in my military career since every unit needs to be close. When everyone is working towards a shared goal, it is important to have strong communication and a sense of familiarity. When everyone is a stranger, then communication is lost and the mission is at risk of failing. I thrive in situations where I collaborate with others, and I look forward to collaboration in the military. I attended a leadership camp called Camp Neidig in the summer of 2022. In this camp where I knew no one, I was surrounded by other prospective leaders who had to work together to communicate and complete shared tasks and goals. It was in this camp that I was able to differentiate between a natural and influential leader and one who is only in charge to boost their ego. I have learned skills that will help me as both a leader and a follower in the future, positions that I imagine myself in when eventually serving my country. The most challenging experience I have had as a leader comes from being a section leader in the marching band. During the outdoor season of the band, I was in a section consisting of six senior students and three underclassmen. I was selected for the position of section leader by the adult leadership, despite the other seniors trying out for the position. I struggled during the season with people contesting me for my position and overstepping their roles as members of the ensemble. I had to diffuse situations of verbal abuse of senior members onto the underclassmen. I found it challenging to balance friendship with leadership and the delegation of tasks. Despite these challenges, I overcame all of the struggles. Through my devotion and persistence, the section is stronger than in years past. I know that the skills I acquired of delegation, diffusion, self-awareness, and integrity will only make me a stronger leader in my military career.
Charlie Sotto
California State University-Long BeachLong Beach, CA
I chose the Army ROTC program because it provided me the opportunity to commission in the United States Army while simultaneously continuing my education toward a bachelor's degree. Knowing the expectations of the Army, I was eager to be surrounded by an environment where I was constantly pushed to be the best version of myself led by the values of Duty, Honor, & Country. Additionally, Army ROTC offers a distinctive leadership experience that provides a military lifestyle promoting discipline, courage, and comradery. The standards manifested by the Army Values present an expectation of performing every task, whether athletic or academic with complete dedication ingrained within each cadet. Serving as a military officer gives me a chance to give back to the country that offered my family refuge and safety in the land of opportunity. Upon the realization that my parents sacrificed everything back in the Philippines to come to America, I took on an internal debt that I'm paying back in the form of my service to the United States Armed Forces. My wish to become an Army Officer stems from my desire to be part of an entity serving a greater purpose in our world. Beyond ROTC involvement, I have made an effort to participate in numerous volunteer activities that would further prepare me for service to my country. Starting, I am passionate about ministry work and taking the initiative to contribute to the communities that I share my faith with. Through this, I have been voluntarily serving as a ministry leader with a variety of organizations from the Cal State Long Beach InterVarsity Christian Fellowship as a small group leader to Hillsong Church Los Angeles as a youth ministry leader. This prepares me for my service because it entails the similar initiative, drive, and passion required to serve and set up a successful future for the oncoming generation. Time is precious, but more importantly, learning how to use the time for general productivity and the welfare of others is equally as precious. The Army Values from duty to selfless service are manifested within my participation in activities outside of ROTC. On top of this, my personal growth coincides with the growth and wisdom that I share through sermons, worship, and discussions that I have with these ministries and the students I serve. As I continue to train and work with more organizations, I will continue to gain experience that will assist myself and others quite practically in the real world and the United States Army the day that I get the privilege to lead soldiers.
Kaitlyn Parvin
21St Century Learning InstituteTrenton, MI
A military career has been my goal since I was a little girl. When I got to visit my dad’s work and see him work on planes for the United States Air Force, I was fascinated by what I saw. Growing up and hearing him get thanked for his service made me proud of him. As I kept growing I realized that it was more than a “thank you”, it was an honor and I wanted to follow in his footsteps. My dad would take me to family nights in the unit, where they would have family, friends, food, and most importantly planes. As I learned about the airlift mission I was exposed to a new perspective of the Air Force. I was quickly learning that the military is not just the cool version that we see in movies, but it's a vital tool to help people around the world. When I finally got to sit in the cockpit of a military-owned C-130, it confirmed what I already knew, I wanted to be a pilot for the Air Force, now more than ever. This dream is slowly starting to become my reality. Using the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), an internship with the pilots, a personal trainer, and exposure to military life daily, I have learned more about how military life will be as a pilot. Leadership in JROTC has taught me to be a leader and to not be afraid to speak my mind. The corps has taught me that by giving me leadership positions, one of those being one of the top four. Having the experience of actually leading people will help prepare me for real military leadership. The semester-long internship with C-130 pilots has taught me vital information I need to know going into the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), like field training and the Pilot Candidate Selection Method (PCSM). The pilots also taught me about the jobs they have when they aren’t flying and showed me what their day-to-day experience was. I got to learn about some documents they use and how to read them, and they let me keep an old one so I can study. My trainer helps prepare me for physical training in ROTC and the military. She helps me do this by working on specific areas that appear on the physical training test. We work together to build strength and endurance so I can exceed the standards of the physical fitness test. Being exposed to military life constantly has prepared me for military life the best. I have been surrounded by military terminology and morale for my entire life. Seeing how active-duty personnel and veterans all interact on a personal level is something that inspires me. Everyone in the military is so friendly, despite the serious-looking nature of it on television. The environment is one where I feel like I can succeed, while also being true to myself, and that’s what I plan to do. It will be a challenge, but so is everything else, and I’m ready for it.
Ruby Enriquez Hernandez
Long Beach City CollegeLong Beach, CA
It is a privilege for students to attend a good college and pursue their dreams of helping their families or communities. Because of the high cost of college education, it is commonly referred to as a "privilege." I come from a low-income family where only my father and I support each other. I want to use my college education to give back to the community by improving education for children and teaching them about the real world. Showing children or even high school students the situation they may be in and providing better leadership to help them succeed. I would describe myself as quiet and understanding. I dedicated myself to my education very seriously and wasted no time reaching my goals. I will not pursue a military career but plan to work with different programs that help our veterans! As a first-generation student accepted to the University of San Diego, I believe I can give back to my community after completing my education. My major is Anthropology, but I hope to change it to Education soon. I enjoy teaching children and creating an environment in which they can grow as individuals while also learning what to expect in the real world so that they can better their communities. When I start university, I want to be able to finish without having to worry about paying anything. My father cannot do enough to help me because he suffers from schizophrenia. I look after him now and help him when he needs it. Continuing my education will help me succeed and inspire future generations to strive for better opportunities. My education has become a very successful and enjoyable endeavor for me. I worked very hard to achieve such wonderful results! I am the Battalion Commander of the Cabrillo High School NJROTC unit, commanding over 120 students and encouraging them to become better leaders. I have only involved myself with NJROTC but being in this program has helped me gain experience in different organizations with volunteering. I hope to help the community and especially our veterans and other organizations that are involved with the military. I have a GPA of 4.13 and will graduate as Valedictorian from Cabrillo High School. I will work harder to improve my education and serve my community to help younger generations better this society. I strive for a better outcome when I realize my dreams and begin to assist other children in achieving their goals and becoming better citizens by helping others as well.
Mitchell Paige
University of Massachusetts-AmherstAndover, MA
I am an undergraduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst perusing a bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders with a minor in Business. I am currently in Air Force ROTC along with being enlisted in the Massachusetts Army National Guard. I have a long heritage of service dating back a century; my brother is currently enlisted in the Marine Corps, my father is an Air Force veteran, my grandfather served as a medic during Vietnam, and my great grandfathers served in WWII. However, that’s not the deciding factor in my ambition to serve our country. As a child I loved watching military movies, some of my favorites include American Sniper, Hacksaw Ridge, and Saving Private Ryan. I idolized the protagonists in those stories, and at some point, I decided “why can’t that be me?”. After enlisting, as I made my way through initial entry training and checking into my unit, I realized like many things my expectations did not mirror reality. Over the last three years since enlisting I’ve experienced poor leadership and many controversies. I’ve seen many Non-Commissioned Officers receive UCMJ due to sexual harassment of incoming soldiers, I’ve seen leaders fight with each other in front of troops, and I’ve experienced the effects poor planning and time management have on training exercises making them ineffective. My perception of the military has more than been altered since joining, and with that my reason to serve has evolved. Through many experiences since being in the ranks, I believe a strong leader is someone who can effectively communicate in a timely manner; someone who can cultivate a culture of esprit de corps and a culture where safety procedures are followed and enforced. I believe a leader should also take the time to get to know the lives of their subordinates and be able to share parts of their own life to build camaraderie, trust, and unit cohesion. Most importantly, a leader must hold themselves to the highest standard of morals and professionalism. With future war with a peer adversary on the horizon, the military must be prepared, organized and undivided. We are in dire need of new effective leaders able to adapt to the changing climate as recruiting and retention rates are at an all-time low, and new light is being shed on more and more issues in the ranks every day. The reason I decided to serve as an officer is because I believe I can be that positive difference. Over the past few years, I’ve showcased my leadership potential in various ways. While in advanced individual training, I finished as my platoon’s honor graduate, I received two Army Achievement Medals for exceptional service, and I was my battalion’s soldier of the year in 2022. I additionally served on multiple in-state missions and have proven leadership potential. With a position in the state education office left unfilled for the past few years, navigating education recourses for the national guard has been challenging. I have taken the initiative to mentor new soldiers coming into my unit through the process of applying for and accessing tuition waivers and GI Bills. I have no plans of slowing down either. Within the next few months, I am projected to make sergeant. Before commissioning into the Air Force in a few years, I plan to use that position to help foster an environment for new soldiers that I would have liked to see when joining. I believe through my past experiences and my ambitions I am very prepared for a future career in service to our country.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 1, 2024. Winners will be announced on Jun 1, 2024.

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