Expanding upon the USM Promise Scholarship program model, the Boulos Veterans Promise Completion Scholarship was created through a $500,000 gift from Joe and Sheri Boulos of Falmouth. The USM Promise Scholarship program is designed to help veterans, often the first in their families to attend college, overcome barriers to completing a degree, while also helping students graduate with little or no debt. This fund focuses on helping veterans overcome hurdles to earning their degree and brings together both financial and academic resources for veteran scholars, coordinated through the USM Promise Scholarship program.
Congratulations to our 2020 Boulos Veteran Promise Scholarship Recipients:
Ronnie Harness '20
Ronnie Harness earned his BA in Leadership and Organizational Studies this past May. Ronnie exhausted his GI benefits last spring and was forced to navigate his final year of his degree with the added stress of financial uncertainty. To cover tuition costs, he added full-time work to his long list of commitments and found a way to successfully balance his new job, full-time coursework, Army ROTC, Army Reserves and supporting his family. “I was stressed,” he says but “the sacrifice was worth the reward.”
To further complicate his progress to degree completion, he and his family emptied their savings in covering his fall educational costs and soon after lost their jobs with the onset of the COVID-19. Soon after, he learned of the Boulos Veteran Promise Completion Scholarship from USM Veteran Services and decided to apply. The scholarship served to fill the gap between his financial aid and tuition expenses. “This scholarship is a true blessing for my family and took the financial burden off our shoulders.”
Harness was commissioned as an Officer in the U.S. Army just weeks after finishing his degree.
Matt Henderson '20
Matt Henderson served in the U.S. Navy for five years and entered USM as an adult learner. He is on track to complete his BS in Nursing in December 2020 and looks forward to helping other veterans with mental health care after graduation.
With his GI benefits set to expire prior to his final semester this scholarship had a direct impact on his ability to complete his degree. “To be honest, without the support of the Boulos Veterans Promise Completion Scholarship, I am not sure how I would have been able to complete my senior year at USM,” he says. Matt received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal in 2013 and again in 2016 for professional achievement and superior performance of duties while serving as U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman at Family Medicine Clinic, U.S. Naval Hospital, Okinawa, JA. and at the Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River, MD.