The Coast Guard Foundation, thanks to the generosity of USAA, recently awarded eight scholarships to enlisted Coast Guard Reservists and their family members. This long-standing program recognizes Coast Guard reserve members’ unique contributions to our nation. The scholarship program is open to reservists, their spouses, and their college-aged children. With the scholarship program, reservists and their families can reach their higher education goals to build careers that contribute to their financial health and wellbeing.
What is the Coast Guard Reserve? The Coast Guard Reserve is the service’s contingency-based workforce. Reservists commit to training two days a month and two weeks a year. Reservists are deployed on both short-term and long-term assignments, as the Coast Guard missions demand. These assignments could be as part of a port security unit maintaining security in foreign theaters, augmenting station crews conduct maritime law enforcement or rescue operations, or in the wake of a natural disaster to provide humanitarian aid. Coast Guard reserve members serve alongside active-duty Coast Guard members within their units, so assignments run the full range of Coast Guard mission demands.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Josiah Brott, Station Buffalo, New York is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Buffalo.
“Thank you for your generosity,” shared Chief Petty Officer Amy Gonzalez, Marine Safety Unit Port Arthur, Texas. “This scholarship means so much to me because it will help me to advance my career as a nurse.”
“I humbly thank you for the financial support in my professional and educational career,” shared Seaman Ian Gough. “This scholarship will contribute to my certification as a firefighter. My dream job is finally within reach.”
Petty Officer 2nd Class Mark Herrera, Sector Miami, Florida is pursuing a master’s degree at Florida International University. As a Coast Guard Reserve member stationed in Florida, Herrera has experience responding to natural disasters, including a deployment to Puerto Rico in 2017 in response to Hurricane Maria. Working closely with federal and local government officials, he assisted with Coast Guard base repairs, delivered humanitarian aid to island residents, and served as a Spanish language translator to aid in relief and recovery operations across Puerto Rico’s remote communities.
“I am very grateful to the Coast Guard Foundation for the scholarship award,” he shared. “Thank you for your generous support, from me and my family.”
Petty Officer 2nd Class Victor Koval is pursuing a bachelor’s degree. He shared, “Thank you for the help with the costs of attending a university in such an expensive place as San Francisco. I will do everything I have learned from the Coast Guard to succeed in my future endeavors.”
Petty Officer 1st Class Jessica Meaders, Sector Maryland-National Capital Region, Maryland: Petty Officer Meaders is enrolled in a master’s degree program at the University of Georgia, where she’s studying learning, leadership and organizational development in the School of Education.
Meaders currently works as a government contractor in the private sector, having recently wrapped up a stint with the FBI.
“One of my proudest accomplishments this past year comes from an experience I had working on a large scale response with the FBI’s evidence response team, that was aided by my Coast Guard Incident Command System knowledge and training,” she shared.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Kaylee Radford, reservist in Alabama, is enrolled at Wallace State Community College in Huntsville for a degree in diagnostic medical sonography.
“I would like to express my gratitude to USAA and Coast Guard Foundation for being a recipient of this scholarship,” shared Radford. “As an aspiring healthcare worker, the financial support that this scholarship has awarded gives me the freedom to further focus on both my education and my clinical training.”
Petty Officer 2nd Class Jermarion Sykes, Sector Viginia, is working towards her master’s degree in exercise science, with concentrations in nutrition and wellness. Sykes has served in the Coast Guard Reserves for three years.
“I am proud to be invested in my community and shipmates. I am forever grateful to the Coast Guard Reserve for allowing me to secure opportunities for advancement, lifelong benefits, and lessons,” she shared.
About our Key Partner: USAA is a diversified financial services group of companies and is among the leading providers of insurance, investing, and banking solutions to members of the U.S. military and veterans who have honorably served and their families. Since 2001, USAA has invested in the Coast Guard Foundation's education program by providing scholarships to Coast Guard reserve members and their families.