Five students across the Upper Midwest were awarded up to $5,000 for their studies as part of the Sanford Health Military and Veteran Scholarship program.
Each scholarship was given to the respective students in a surprise ceremony during one of their classes. They were informed in front of their classmates by retired U.S. Navy Capt. Paul Weckman, Sanford’s director of veteran and military services.
Weckman presented one such scholarship at the North Dakota State University campus in Fargo to BreAnn Sullivan, a first-year nursing student who is a member of the North Dakota Air National Guard.
“Today I have the honor and privilege to recognize an individual in this class that has gone above and beyond as a veteran,” said Weckman as he informed Sullivan of her award. “Each year we present a scholarship for up to $5,000 for a veteran that is currently full-time status in a college or university system. Today’s individual rose to the top. We had a selection committee — they’re all veterans themselves — and we went through quite a few applications, but this one was our top applicant. She not only was valedictorian in her high school; she’s done a lot of community service. Now here she is on the dean’s list as well.”
Honored for their service
Besides Sullivan, this year’s veteran and military scholarship recipients are:
- Jeff Barnable, South Dakota State University, doctor of pharmacy
- Colten Allen, South Dakota State University, bachelor’s in psychology
- Kalli Koepplin, University of Mary, MSN-nursing and leadership
- Luke Wilkowski, Bemidji State University, bachelor’s in nursing
For her part, Sullivan was excited and genuinely surprised to receive the scholarship during class. She also reiterated her commitment not just to nursing and school, but also to serving her country.
“A lot of my family has been in the military, so it was kind of just something that made sense to me,” said Sullivan.
When asked where she wanted to be a nurse after completing her education, Sullivan responded, “At Sanford!”
“Her whole entire life has just been sustained superior performance,” added Weckman. “In still currently supporting the National Guard here in North Dakota, she just is a model citizen-soldier. It’s just great to see such high quality people, and then for them to continue to serve in a capacity of being a future nurse and helping in the health care system, it’s just so gratifying to see.”
The Military and Veteran Scholarship is an annual award for veterans, Guard/Reserve members or active duty military service members. Each person must show they have demonstrated leadership and commitment in their communities.
Applicants must be full-time students pursuing a bachelor’s, graduate or professional degree from an accredited U.S.-based institution of higher education. They must also have at least one full year of education remaining.
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