Samsung American Legion Scholarship awards over $240,000 to youth

More than 4,500 American Legion Boys State and Auxiliary Girls State 2018 participants applied for the Samsung American Legion Scholarship to receive up to $10,000. The scholarship recipients were selected by The American Legion's Committee on Youth Education Oct. 14 during the Legion's Fall Meetings in Indianapolis.

The Samsung American Legion Scholarship awarded 10 national scholars with $10,000, 10 runners-up with $5,000, and 74 department finalists each will receive $1,250 for undergraduate study.

The 10 national scholars are: Rebecka Denney of Utah; Jared Goetz of Washington; Max Bowman of Illinois; James Alwin of Wisconsin; Garrett Geidel of Delaware; Valerie Puliafico of Massachusetts; Elise Sopelle of Minnesota; Tatum Trysla of Kansas; Mattilyn Winburn of Georgia; and Colt Crowson of Oklahoma.

The 10 runners-up are: Maria Gonzalez of Washington; Nicholas Vitiello of Nevada; Eliza Mount of Indiana; Tessa D'Souza of Kentucky; Benjamin Currey of Rhode Island; Peter Davin of New Jersey; James Donovan of Missouri; Caleb Haselhuhn of Kanas; Stuart Case of Florida; and Leo Aromatorio of Georgia.

The recipients earned the award based on several criteria, including participation in American Legion Boys State or Auxiliary Girls State and being a direct descendant of a wartime veteran eligible for American Legion membership. Those who were a member of the Legion Family earned an extra bonus point.

Since Samsung bestowed an endowment to the Legion in 1995 for the establishment of a scholarship fund for family members of U.S. citizens who are war veterans, nearly $6 million has been awarded. The gesture was inspired by the support of the U.S. troops that came to the aid of South Korea while defending themselves against opposing Chinese and North Korean forces.

The Samsung American Legion Scholarship is available for high school juniors who participate in the current session of Boys State or Girls State and are direct descendants (or legally adopted children) of wartime veterans eligible for American Legion membership. The Samsung scholarship supports undergraduate studies (e.g., room and board, tuition and books), and each applicant is selected according to his or her involvement in school and community activities, academic record and financial need.

For more information about the scholarship, visit www.legion.org/scholarships/samsung.