PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (July 21, 2016)—Two children of NAS Patuxent River chief petty officers were presented with scholarships from the Patuxent River Chief Petty Officers Association, July 6.
Grand prize recipient Ciara Sekeet was awarded $750, and runner up Stephanie Lilian Kulaszewski took home $250 after applying for the scholarship, which included writing an essay, submitting letters of recommendation, and outlining any community involvement or other extra-curricular activities.
Sekeet, daughter of NAVAIR Master Chief Navy Counselor Mike Sekeet, graduated with honors from the Global Studies and World Languages Academy at Tallwood High School and will be attending George Mason University in the fall.
"I'll be studying biology and hopefully, eventually, animal keeping," she said. "I was thrilled to hear about this scholarship because it was the first one I was rewarded. It's going toward my tuition."
Kulaszewski, daughter of Senior Chief Aviation Support Equipment Technician Hope Kulaszewski, AMMT inspector with NAVAIR 5.0D, is currently attending Rowan University and will be graduating with a bachelors in Human Resource Management this December. She has already signed up for a masters program.
Having won a $1,000 CPOA grand prize scholarship in 2013, Kulaszewski was pleased the decision was made to split the money this year and award two scholarships.
"I was just excited to have received something; and the money will be spent paying for books," she said. "I'd like to thank my mom for serving 23 years so far, and also thank the chiefs for having this scholarship program."
All children of active members of the Patuxent River CPOA are eligible to apply for the scholarship program and applicants must maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or 3.5 on a 4.5 scale. In addition to academic achievement, participation in school activities, work experience, a written essay, leadership qualities and Letters of Recommendation are also considered.
Sekeet's father is not only proud of his daughter, but of his chief's mess as well.
"We're very thankful that [Chief Aviation Electrician's Mate Alfredo] Trinidad headed up the efforts for the Pax River CPOA and even more thankful that the scholarship committee found it fitting to select Ciara from a competitive pool of applicants to receive the scholarship," he noted. "Our CPOA truly supports our Sailors, our community, and our fellow chiefs and their families. We're honored."