RACHEL HALLORAN has been selected as the first recipient of the St. Juvin VFW Post #1336 Scholarship. The $1,000 award, announced by post adjutant Jack Micetich, serves to assist area veterans and local residents with college expenses. Halloran, a sophomore at Eastern Illinois University, is pursing a degree in physical therapy.
Ann Gill Editor
Like many Americans, Rachel Halloran has come to appreciate the sacrifices our military veterans have made for the freedoms we enjoy today.
"I am more than grateful to all of the veterans who have been brave enough to serve our country, and for the men and women who continue to protect us today," Halloran said.
A few of those veterans have selected Halloran as the first recipient of the St. Juvin VFW Post #1336 scholarship, a monetary award established last year to assist area veterans and local residents with college expenses.
Veterans who honorably served in the United States military are encouraged to apply for the financial award, as well as individuals who have volunteered to serve in the military prior to graduation. Scholarships are also available to local residents seeking careers in the health care fields of orthotics/prosthetics and physical therapy.
Jack Micetich, post adjutant, said the hope is that there will be trained health care specialists to assist wounded warriors like Coal City's Joe Singer who sustained injuries while serving in Afghanistan this past summer.
"This event really hit home with me because Joe is only a couple years older than I am. I know he faces a long road ahead, and will need to undergo a great deal of physical therapy as he recovers from his injuries," said Halloran, who one day hopes to work with individuals recovery from their injuries.
A sophomore at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Halloran is pursing a degree in physical therapy and has plans to obtain a masters degree on her way to becoming a physical therapist.
"It takes a lot of schooling to become a physical therapist, but I have confidence in myself. I know that with the support of my friends and family, and a lot of hard work, I can accomplish the educational goals I have set for myself," said Halloran, the daughter of Pat and Dawn Halloran.
The $1,000 scholarship will help Halloran with the cost of obtaining her degree.
Applicants must be enrolled in a trade school, junior college or four-year institution. In addition to completing an application, the scholarship requires an essay and two letters of recommendation. Letters written by veterans will be considered significant, according to the organization.
Candidates must maintain a 2.8 grade point average. The award is presented at the completion of a successful semester of study. The scholarship may be awarded to a qualified candidate twice, however renewal is not guaranteed.
The scholarship was established from the proceeds of the sale of the VFW building on Fifth Avenue. Although there is no headquarters for the post it remains an active organization within the community and the scholarship is just one of the many programs the group supports.
Scholarship applications are available on the Coal City High School website at www.coalcity.k12.il.us Visit the student services section by clicking on the link in the left menu bar.