An 8-year-old military kid recently became the youngest recipient of an annual scholarship award after submitting a standout essay focused on hope and the future.
Ten military spouses banded together in 2007 to create a first-of-its-kind network for military spouses experiencing language barriers. Esposas Militares Hispanas USA Armed Forces (EMHUSA) is the only non-profit organization that works directly with Hispanic military families. Every year, the organization hosts a scholarship program to support military-connected students.
A surprise application from National Guard military kid Allison Alicea Lopez in 2020 caught the attention of the judges. Most years, applications are limited to high school students, but Allison’s submission was so touching that the scholarship committee made an exception.
“Allison stole our hearts with her commitment to fill out a complete application and her enthusiasm to become better at her young age,” said Janet Sanchez, EMHUSA founder.
Allison, 8, is from Puerto Rico. Her scholarship application was so well written that Sanchez and her team awarded Allison a special prize.
This is part of her essay:
“It is in my interest to continue strengthening my knowledge by completing my third grade at a specialized science and mathematics school in Puerto Rico. During the quarantine period I find myself making Facebook live and videos with the purpose of motivating and changing lives of other children like me who are interested in developing all their skills to their full potential.”
Allison’s motivation and determination to succeed are just part of what’s on display in her well-worded essay. The other resounding theme is hope.
“I want to earn the EMHUSA scholarship because I want to strengthen my student knowledge in a school that challenges me and takes me to my full potential. I have an average of 4.00. I am a student who has high standards of commitment, dedication, and effort; I feel like a winner and grateful for life for everything I have accomplished in such a short time.”
Lumary Lopez, Allison’s mother, says her daughter’s win has given the family hope in these difficult times.
“Allison’s motivation in applying for the scholarship is that she wants her example to inspire other children to continue studying, to believe in themselves, and achieve their dreams,” Lumary said.
After speaking with her parents, Sanchez and her team felt that Allison deserved to be highlighted.
“It’s important to recognize the impact we have on children and the commitment we have to our families. We can all learn from Allison,” Sanchez explained.
“Allison was very moved to complete the essay and thanks God for the opportunity and the privilege,” Lumary said.
Allison has plans to become a military teacher after college. Her favorite school subjects are math and English. In her free time, she is a dancer with her church and does gymnastics.
Since its founding, EMHUSA has grown to serve the needs of thousands of military spouses who are facing challenges with language and communication. The core mission of the organization is to educate, support, serve, and motivate. Most of the programming is free and includes emergency financial assistance, help with jobs and resumes, and translation assistance, along with immigration assistance, English language classes, and citizenship classes. The group serves military spouses and families at installations across the world and offers over 150 private Facebook groups per installation. EMHUSA also provides support to veterans, retirees, and combat-wounded service members and their families.
Connect with Esposas Militares Hispanas USA Armed Forces for more information on programs and resources.Read comments