By Air Force Airman 1st Class Christopher Gross
April 26, 2010 - The commander of the 3rd Comptroller Squadron Financial Management Flight here has provided a $750 scholarship to the University of Alaska Anchorage's ROTC program.
Air Force 1st Lt. Christina Geller presented her first check for the scholarship April 23 at the ROTC's leadership lab.
The lieutenant said she wanted to give back to the school that had helped to kick off her career.
An Anchorage native, Geller started UAA's ROTC program in May 2004. She graduated in 2006, and then was assigned here. She said she plans to continue the scholarship for 10 years.
Nobody from her family had attended college, Geller said, so the odds were stacked against her. But she was able to attend college by receiving numerous scholarships.
"Not having money to go to college should not be a reason," she said. "By providing a scholarship, it enables somebody to potentially to go to college and earn a degree and do something they are passionate about."
Geller said the ROTC program did great things for her, allowing her to gain the self-confidence and leadership skills she needs as she pursues her Air Force career.
The Air Force ROTC detachment commander at the University of Alaska Anchorage expressed gratitude for the scholarship.
"This scholarship is great," said Air Force Lt. Col. Doug Smith. "It serves two purposes. First, it will help offset college expenses for a hard-working and deserving underclass cadet who is pursuing a commission in the Air Force. This will, in turn, allow our program at the university to retain high-quality candidates as future Air Force officers. Second, it helps fortify the efforts to maintain an active and involved ... alumni association."
Geller said she hopes the financial help will influence others to consider signing up for the ROTC program, and that they'll be up for the challenge.
The scholarship's first recipient will be chosen in time for the fall semester.