COPPERAS COVE — Lisa Marie Rivera of Copperas Cove High School was presented with a $180,000 Navy scholarship Wednesday at Lea Ledger Auditorium.

The 18-year-old received her ceremonial check in front of a crowd of her peers: the entire senior class of CCHS.

Out of four other applicants from her school, Rivera was the only student chosen to receive the four-year scholarship offered by the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship program.

Rivera is among the top five students at her school, ranked at No. 2.

“The program allows students to attend a university on a full-ride scholarship, then graduate and enter the Navy as an officer,” said Navy recruiter Petty Officer 2nd Class Jon Snowden, who presented Rivera with the award.

Chosen applicants may select their own major and attend a school of their own choosing, provided that the institution is among the 150 in the nation that currently offer the NROTC program. Several Ivy League schools are included on the list.

Upon graduation, recipients of the NROTC scholarship must fulfill a six-year commitment to serve in the U.S. Navy.

“I’m going to major in biochemistry and if everything works out, I’d like to go on to medical school and become a Navy doctor,” Rivera said.

Rivera will be attending the University of Texas at Austin starting this fall.

“Especially with today’s economy, I think it’s great to have a job ready after college,” Rivera added. “I also think being in the Navy will make me a stronger person, both mentally and physically.”

Those in attendance who know Rivera personally expressed their confidence in her bright future.

“Lisa is an incredible girl who has accomplished so much already, the Navy is going to be lucky to have her,” said Snowden, who worked closely with her during the application process.

“I don’t know that there’s a more deserving student,” said Richard Kirkpatrick, CCISD deputy superintendent and former principal of CCHS. “She is very bright and articulate and she has a great personality … she’s the total package.”

Students interested in the NROTC scholarship program should plan to apply early in their junior year. The application and other related information can be found online at

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