(STONINGTON, Conn.) — The Coast Guard Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to strengthening the Coast Guard community and service by supporting members and families, has awarded 158 scholarships in 2021 totaling $345,500 in support. In the 31 years of the program, the Coast Guard Foundation has paid out more than $6 million to over 1,400 college-aged young adults.
Awardees include scholars such as Christopher Albert, who is majoring in business and marketing at San Francisco State University. A 2020 graduate of San Marin High School in Novato, Calif., he is the child of William T. Albert, retired Coast Guard veteran. His community involvement includes mentoring and tutoring his fellow classmates and leading his team on the soccer field.
Abby Carlan, recipient of the Capt. Paul E. Deveau Scholarship, is enrolled at Truett McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga., where she is majoring in nursing and expected to graduate in 2025. She is a 2021 graduate of Tallulah Falls School in Georgia. An active member of her church and volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, Carlan has a passion for service and giving back to her community. In addition to her rigorous course load, she will play for the women’s volleyball team. Carlan is the child of Craig Carlan, retired Coast Guard veteran.
“Thank you for your generous support. This is an exciting time in my life, and I am proud that the Coast Guard Foundation is part of my journey,” said Carlan. “With a reduced financial burden, I can completely focus on my academic and athletic endeavors at Truett McConnell University.”
Isabel DeSanno, who received the Coast Guard Foundation Seaman 1st Class Peter J. Russo and Signalman 3rd Class Walter E. Lafferty Scholarship, is enrolled at Kean University in Union, N.J., where she is studying forensic psychology and will graduate in the spring of 2022. She is a graduate of Faith Academy in Victoria, Texas. The child of Jamie DeSanno, retired Coast Guard veteran, she is a competitive swimmer and lends her talents to provide swim lessons to kids in her community. She volunteers with her church and helped in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey by providing food and supplies for those impacted by the storm.
Amar Dunham is enrolled at the College of William and Mary, and a graduate of Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School for Marine and Environmental Science in Tappahannock, Va., in 2021. He plans to focus his studies to pursue a STEM research career. An active member of his community, Dunham serves as a mentor for younger students and led several clean-ups near his hometown. He is the child of Chief Petty Officer Jomar Dunham.
“Thank you for the opportunity to apply and receive this scholarship,” said Dunham. “The thing that I am certain about receiving this scholarship: I’ll always apply myself to the best of my abilities for any opportunity that I’m given.”
Kianna Fleek-Dixon is enrolled at the University of Central Florida, majoring in biology on a pre-med track. She is a 2020 graduate of Fort Lauderdale High School in Florida, where she earned an advanced high school diploma due to her rigorous academic course load. Active in her community, Fleek-Dixon volunteers as a mentor and tutor for local elementary students, as well as assists at the local hospital, local food banks and community beach clean ups. She is the child of retired Coast Guard veteran Michael Dixon.
Benjamin Pierias is a 2019 graduate of Newport High School in Oregon and is a three-year Coast Guard Foundation scholarship recipient. He is enrolled at University of California, Berkeley and is the son of Master Chief Petty Officer David Pierias, who is assigned to Coast Guard Station Chetco River in Oregon. Pierias was valedictorian of his high school graduating class and earned highest honors all four years. He continues to excel academically at Berkeley and tutors fellow students in computer science lab courses and is involved in the greater community by volunteering with local elementary school students.
“Thank you so much for awarding me this scholarship,” said Pierias. “I have absolutely loved my time spent at college and cannot wait to begin my fall classes to continue learning. This would not be possible without the foundation’s support.”
“We are honored to continue our dedication to the children of the Coast Guard as they pursue their higher education goals,” said Susan Ludwig, president, Coast Guard Foundation. “These amazing students are already a benefit to their communities and a proud example of the values instilled in them by their Coast Guard parents. Our support is only possible because of generous investments from individuals, families and foundations across the country.”
For more on the Coast Guard Foundation’s scholarship program and the support given to Coast Guard members and their families, view this video: https://youtu.be/i5HMW-zyO6s.
To learn more about the Coast Guard Foundation or to help support its work, visit www.coastguardfoundation.org or call (860) 535-0786.
– Coast Guard Foundation