Scholarship helps Hill Airman pursue higher education

Airman 1st Class Allison West, Contracting Directorate, receives a $750 scholarship from Chief Master Sgt. Rulon Walker, representing the Chiefs' Group, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Feb. 15, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Cromar)

Airman 1st Class Allison West, Contracting Directorate, receives a $750 scholarship from Chief Master Sgt. Rulon Walker, representing the Chiefs' Group, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, Feb. 15, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Cromar)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Airman 1st Class Allison West, Contracting Directorate, was presented a $750 college scholarship Feb. 15 by the Hill AFB Chiefs' Group.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be chosen to receive this scholarship. As I understand it, there were around 17 applicants, so I was honestly surprised by my selection, and very grateful,” West said.

West joined the Air Force in August 2016 and she currently works as a contracting specialist supporting base operations. She is also a student nearing the completion of her Community College of the Air Force, or CCAF, degree next month.

After she completes her CCAF, she intends to earn a bachelor's degree at Weber State University in Microbiology, with a focus on Biotechnology.

West also intends to apply for the Airman Commissioning Scholarship program through ROTC. Application results will be given in October and if accepted, she will move forward to complete her bachelor’s degree.

West applied for the Chiefs' Group scholarship to help offset college costs.

Chief Master Sgt. Rulon Walker, Chief Enlisted Manager for the 419th Logistics Readiness Squadron, explained the Chiefs' Group was compelled by West's scholarship application.

The application package included an essay, where West described her academic goals and how her degree will enhance her service and support to the Air Force.

“One of the standout points from her essay was her description of a major shift in personal motivation, and change in views. Beginning her service with very individualistic motives changed to finding ways she could use this opportunity to serve the Air Force mission,” Walker said.

West said when she joined the Air Force with her husband who had already been serving on active duty for a few years, she intended to get an education and then separate from the Air Force.

Over time, however, a sense of community and belonging set in and her goals shifted from getting an education and leaving the Air Force, to continuing her career while giving back to the service.

The objective of the Chiefs' Group is to enhance the image and position of the enlisted force by various means including active support to base and community programs.

The scholarship program, according to Walker, is an important way to emphasize and support education of the enlisted force, which in turn supports the future of the Air Force through its enlisted members.

The Chiefs' Group provides a $750 scholarship to Air Force, Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve, active duty enlisted member or their spouse, within the Hill AFB area, who is pursuing a degree.

It is awarded twice a year, with submission deadlines of June 30 and Dec. 31. Awards are then delivered after package reviews, which take place in January and July.

Scholarship checks are written to the educational institution and may be used to pay for any reasonable cost related to pursuing a degree, including tuition, fees, and books.

The scholarship is nonrenewable, meaning prior recipients may not apply a second time, to allow others the same opportunity, Walker said.

Email 75ABW.388FW.CMSgtScholCoord@us.af.mil for details about the Chiefs' Group scholarship program.