Base commissary awards scholarship

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

MCLB-ALBANY, Ga. -- Thanks to help from the Defense Commissary Agency, a college student from Leesburg will be able to move forward with her education.

Officials at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany's commissary awarded a scholarship to Sarah Gobin as part of the Scholarships for Military Children Program at a ceremony abroad the installation Thursday.

Gobin, a rising junior at LaGrange College, is currently studying biochemistry. She is a 2008 graduate of Lee County High School. This is her second consecutive year obtaining the award.

"This scholarship means a lot," she said Thursday. "We're in tough economic times and tuition is continuing to rise. This is just one more way the military has helped me.

"I know it's not common to get it two years in a row."

Lt. Col. Donald Finn, director of operations and training at the base, was there to offer his congratulations to the scholarship recipient.

"Your parents are proud of you and the base is proud of you," he said to Gobin.

Her father, Hal Gobin, is a retired Marine. He currently serves as the director of MCLB-Albany's computer information systems division.

Scholarship recipients receive $1,500 to apply toward tuition at a four-year institution. The program is funded by manufacturers and suppliers that provide products and services for commissaries worldwide.

"This is one of many programs the Defense Commissary Agency does," said Frank Toves, store manager of MCLB-Albany's commissary. "It helps with education; it eases the burden. These days, you need to have an education.

"I encourage every military child enrolled in a four-year program to apply."

The Defense Commissary Agency established scholarships for military children in 2001 to demonstrate commitment to community involvement. Since the program's inception, officials have awarded 4,132 scholarships totaling more than $6.4 million.

Applicants for a scholarship must have a mother or father that is active duty, reserve/guard, retired military personnel and possess a military dependent I.D. card. They can also be the survivor of a deceased service member. Scholarship hopefuls are expected to attend a college or university on a full-time basis.

Criteria for the award is based on a minimum GPA of 3.0, participation in community involvement and a written essay explaining what the hopeful recipient would put in a time capsule to help people in the future. Those selected are notified by letter.

The Defense Commissary Agency, with headquarters at Fort Lee, Va., operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families.