By Amanda Kim Stairrett
Fort Hood Herald
Ari Lewis and Jenica Santos have known each other since second grade.
They both served in leadership roles in Shoemaker High School's National Honor Society and both played sports. Both plan to become pediatricians, and on Thursday evening at Fort Hood, both received scholarships through the local Association of the U.S. Army chapter.
Both said receiving money for college was "amazing."
The chapter and its scholarship fund donors handed out 61 checks to winners, who submitted essays, during a ceremony at Club Hood. It was the most the chapter has ever handed out, said Ron Taylor, chapter president.
"You all are the best of the best," he said.
The recipients, which ranged from graduating high school seniors to college students to soldiers to their spouses, are the future leaders of the country, said Maj. Gen. William Grimsley, III Corps and Fort Hood acting senior commander.
The general also applauded the donors, saying they were the reason "we all love serving here at the Great Place."
Lewis' scholarship was funded by Bill and Anna Crawford, local donors and Texas A&M graduates who have given $33,000 over the last few years to students planning to attend their alma mater.
Lewis is Shoemaker's salutatorian and was named Exchange Club Youth of the Year. She is the band's head drum major, played point guard for the varsity basketball team and was senior class treasurer.
Her parents are Bobby and Nichol Lewis. Bobby is a range supervisor at Fort Hood and Nichol runs a day care. It was helping at the day care as a sixth-grader when Ari realized she wanted to be a pediatrician, she said.
Her friend, Santos, received the night's sole $2,000 scholarship. It was funded by Union State Bank in honor of Gen. Raymond and Linda Odierno, a past 4th Infantry and III Corps commander. He now leads U.S. Forces-Iraq.
Santos plans to attend the University of Texas at San Antonio. She was ranked in the top 2 percent of her graduating class and was on the honor roll from 2007 to 2010. She is the captain of the school's tennis team, has served for the last three years as the Fort Hood Catholic Community's assistant religious educator and has performed with the Pacific Heights Express Dance Group for five years.
Her parents are Sgt. Maj. Jesse and Doris Santos. Jesse serves in the 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.
Contact Amanda Kim Stairrett at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7547. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.
2010 Central Texas-Fort Hood Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army scholarship donors and their recipients
Bill and Anna Crawford: Chelsea Graves, Michael Smalls, Cynthia Roman, Matthew Garrett, Christopher Wiggins, Ariana Lewis, Megan Hammond, Adriana Amagliani, Ryan Belcher, Alexandria Wood
Central Texas-Fort Hood Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army: David Tarsa, Simon Martin, Patrina Hudgens, Sgt. Joshua Hudgens, Madeline Daugherty, John Miller III, Melissa Miller
Fort Hood National Bank: Sriratana Sutasirisap, Lora Ann Jones, Travis Cox, Michael Knowles, Sasha Lafler
Extraco Banks: Valene Bummara, Zoe Simpson, Brandon Salter
Fort Hood Family Housing: Michael Presta, Torree Rheingans, Mary Frances DePrisco
McLane Advance Technology: Lauren Light, Jontell Ritz, Sgt. 1st Class Yesenia Murray
Union State Bank in honor of Gen. Raymond and Linda Odierno: Jenica Santos ($2,000 scholarship), Sgt. Lance Allen, Nelva Hayes
First National Bank: Michael Shaughnessy, Brenden Brushaber
Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce: Kimberley Houghtaling, Sgt. (promotable) Armando Dominguez
Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce, Military Affairs Committee: John Rudesheim, Capt. Micah Jacobson (Bernie Beck Scholarship)
Solomon Appliance and Furniture: Chief Warrant Officer-3 Rodney Key, Tekeya Somerall
Actus Community Fund: Caroline Hill, Michelle Masullo
Arrow Trailways: Brian Keller
13th Corps Support Command Association: Spc. Amy Lantrip
Better Business Bureau Education Foundation: Sgt. Nelva Hayes
Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce, Military Affairs Committee: Demetri Sosa
City of Killeen: Alexandria Hess
Central Texas-Fort Hood Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army past presidents: Irma Jacobson
Guyco: Lindsey Pearce
Pioneer Military Services: Olaf Meyer
Time Warner Cable: Matthew Vanderlaan
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor: Kelsey Belcher
Alion Science: Cassady Hossenlopp
Dental Health Management Solutions, Inc.: Tyson Adams
Karen Lucas: Brittany Adams
General Dynamics/Michael D. Romain Memorial Scholarship: Pfc. Kari Anglin
Military Officers Association of America: Jordan Smith
Retired Col. Jerry Smith JROTC Scholarship: Rueben L. Faiai
Temple Chamber of Commerce: Justin Ferguson
JROTC scholarship recipients
The following received $500 JROTC scholarships:
Texas A&M University-Central Texas: Israel Rubio
University of Mary Hardin Baylor: William McCarville
Baylor University: Matthew Graham
Harker Heights High School: Tashia Wilson
Shoemaker High School: Brett Watson
Killeen High School: Gairet Snow
Ellison High School: Betheni Keanaaina
Copperas Cove High School: Brittany Compton
Belton High School: Nicholas Trent
Temple High School: Susanna G. Mendez
Waco High School: Marisela Hernandez