TEMPLE, Texas — As the 2020-2021 school year comes to close in a few weeks, applications are being accepted for post-secondary education scholarships through the Central Texas Fort Hood AUSA.
"We don't understand it, we want your applications. We want as many as we possibly can to award the best and brightest," Peter Beronio said.
Beronio said generous donors have helped them raise $55,000 in scholarship money and they have less than 10 applicants with a couple weeks until the deadline.
"Right now we have 55 scholarships to give out and we want to give it all out," Beronio said. "We've been successful every year in giving out all the money raised, and this year is no different."
Beronio said every year scholarship applications are falling off little by little and he's hoping for influx if applications in the coming weeks. He said it's what they do and are hoping to help as many people as possible.
"I wouldn't hesitate to complete an application and give it a shot. If you got motivation to go to school, motivation for post-secondary education, please let us help you in that endeavor," he said.
Sergeant Thomas Hewitt has served his country for almost 21-years and has been awarded numerous AUSA scholarships. He said it's changed his life.
"I thought there was no way they would give me, this old military NCO a chance but I was surprised," Sgt. Hewitt said. "This not only allowed me to continue going through school and not have to take that break, it allowed me to finish and complete my Masters."
The AUSA is a non-profit organization that supports America's army, those that are active, national guard, reserve, civilians, retirees and family members. The scholarships are available to AUSA members and their dependents.
"I already have my pick of jobs and that is a tremendous benefit to getting out of the military, that's one less stress and headache that I have to be worried about," Sgt. Hewitt said.
He said it makes no sense to him why the applications are dwindling, he said there's no risk involved but all reward.
"All they can say is no, I'll be honest, I can guarantee you're almost, I would say that if you don't try, you're guaranteed you're going to fail and you're not going to get anything," he said.
Sgt. Hewitt says he does his homework right beside his kids every night, he says leading them by example is important, just as he's done soldiers during his military career.
"It's not like I'm telling them, 'Hey, you need to get good grades or you need to do this' and kind of nagging at them. I'm actually doing it with them and they see me sitting doing homework right beside them," he said.
If you or someone you know is looking for a scholarship, you can apply here.