Tuesday, Culver Girls Academy freshman Sophia Moore will receive a special scholarship from the NewDay USA Foundation during a halftime ceremony at the Military Bowl. She will receive one of two scholarships being presented to children of severely wounded veterans or soldiers who have died in the line of duty by NewDay USA, a leading provider of Veterans Administration loans.
Moore, a freshman from Olmito, Texas, lost her father Gary two months before her third birthday. He died in combat in Mosul, Iraq.
She applied for the scholarship earlier this year, and she found out she had been awarded the multi-year scholarship during a surprise telephone call on Dec. 12, which also turned out to the coldest day of the school year. That short phone call set in motion a whirlwind two-week holiday period for Moore and her mother Raquel.
They are now in Annapolis, Md., and will be attending the football game featuring the No. 23 Temple Owls and the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. The game is being played at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium and will be broadcast by ESPN. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. (EST).
When she realized the call was from NewDay, Moore knew it was concerning the scholarship “but I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high.”
And when she heard the actual words?
“I was pretty shocked,” Moore said. “I honestly don’t know what I was thinking. I know my mom won’t have to work so hard now.”
She also needed for a couple of tissues.
Since 2013, the foundation has been offering scholarships to the children of soldiers killed in action and severely wounded veterans. To date, the NewDay USA Foundation has committed $1.5 million in scholarship funds to children attending select military high schools.
“With these scholarships we wish to honor the service member’s and the family’s sacrifice by easing the burden of tuition. We also wish to salute Sophia’s strength and character during her life as a military child,” said Rear Admiral Tim Lynch (USN Ret.), executive chairman of NewDay USA. “The NewDay USA Foundation scholarship program provides an amazing opportunity for children whose parents or guardians have made great sacrifices for our country. These scholarships provide an education that may not have otherwise been available to the students.”
Culver will be matching NewDay’s contribution in order to completely cover her tuition through graduation.
“Culver Academies is very thankful and honored for NewDay USA providing this special scholarship for veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much,” said Jim Power, head of schools. “The NewDay Scholarship has transformed a veteran family’s hardship and sacrifice into a unique leadership and educational opportunity for Sophia to attend Culver.
“The NewDay scholarship program embodies the ideals of character and leadership represented in our nation’s best, ensuring those values are nurtured in future generations.”
After graduating from Culver, Moore is hoping to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.