Broken Arrow teen earns $2k DECA scholarship

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  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – A $2,000 college scholarship was awarded to a teen from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, during a brief ceremony June 29 at the Vance Commissary.

Katie Vosler, who will attend the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago this fall, earned the tuition assistance through the Scholarships for Military Children program which is funded by the vendors and manufacturers who sell groceries through the Commissary system.

“We appreciate the opportunity that the Commissary has offered,” said Navy Cmdr. Eric Vosler, about his youngest daughter's new source of college funding.

College is more expensive now than it has ever been, so it's essential that students get all the help they can to offset that cost, he said. If young adults aren't getting their education, the opportunities start to dry up and they're forced into areas they might not want to go, Vosler said.

“I encourage my kids and the folks who work with me to take the time to get their education,” said Vosler, the commander of Naval Operational Support Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “And, if you apply for scholarships, a lot of times you will get them. If you apply for 100 and you get 10, then it is worth all you do.”

To earn the scholarship, Katie wrote an essay on obesity as the leading cause of military service ineligibility among Americans ages 17-24. Nearly 30 percent of the age group is ineligibility for military service, she wrote.

Katie plans to use her scholarship to seek a degree in civil engineering.

“I've always wanted to go into engineering, because my dad is an air and space engineer,” she said.

She decided on civil engineering after attending an engineering and construction camp hosted by the Society for American Military Engineers, where students learn about the different fields of engineering.

“I went to that camp and civil engineering just appealed to me,” she said. “City planning and bridge building sounded like something I could excel at.”

Though not sure what she will do after college, Katie says a career in the military is not off the table, and she might seek a job as a pilot or an engineer.

Scholarships for Military Children is administered by the Fisher House Foundation, and this year's scholarship was sponsored by S & K Sales, who was represented at the Commissary ceremony by Wanda Wilson.