VENTURA, Calif. – “Ever since I was five, I've wanted to be a part of the military,” said Jack Beguelin. “In my mind, and from what I've seen and what I've heard, (the Marine Corps) is the most elite. If I'm going to be a part of the military, and I'm going to serve my country, I want to be part of the most elite group there is.”
The U.S. Marine Corps awarded the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps scholarship valued at $180,000 to Jack Beguelin, a senior at Buena High School in Ventura, Calif., Jan. 15, 2016.
Sergeant Weldon Housley, center, and Staff Sergeant Edwin Salvatierra, right, present a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps scholarship check to Jack Beguelin at Buena High School in Ventura, Calif., Jan. 15, 2016. The NROTC scholarship, valued at up to $180,000, will pay for the cost of full tuition, books and other educational fees at many of the country's leading colleges and universities. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Alicia R. Leaders)
The NROTC scholarship is a program to educate and train qualified young men and women as commissioned officers in the Navy or the Marine Corps. The scholarship covers 100 percent of a student's tuition costs and also includes a stipend of $750 to cover textbooks each year.
“I will be going to Oregon State University, and it is pretty exciting,” Jack said. “It is all of my dreams coming together from when I was a little kid. I really wanted to do this – be part of the military. As I grew up and went through high school, I decided the Marine Corps is the right decision for me.”
When applying for the NROTC scholarship, there are multiple factors taken into consideration to be competitive for the award. Jack said it was a tedious process, and there was almost a time where he thought about giving up.
“There was a point where I was filling out the application, and I was thinking, ‘This is a lot of work, and I don't know if I really want to do this,'” Jack said.
When he communicated his concerns to his recruiter, he was asked to immediately come by the office. Jack's recruiter, Sergeant Weldon Housley, and Staff Sergeant Edwin Salvatierra from Recruiting Sub Station Ventura met him at their office.
“Sergeant Housley and Staff Sergeant Sal came in and talked to me, and they pumped me back up again, and told me I couldn't quit. After that I was locked in for sure.”
A few weeks later, Jack received the call from his recruiter stating he won the scholarship.
“It's one of those moments where it's a once-in-a-lifetime chance,” said Jack. “I was extremely excited and so were my parents.”
Principal Bobbi Powers of Buena High School said she is extremely proud Jack was selected as the NROTC scholarship recipient, and he is the perfect person to have been chosen.
“Once he got this scholarship, and he knew he had it, he went in to see his counselor, and said he'll write down step-by-step how he can help others to get a scholarship,” Powers said. “That's a perfect example of leadership. As a leader on campus, he definitely stands out. He's very kind-hearted, a hard worker, and a good student. We are very proud.”
By U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Alicia R. Leaders
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