July 12, 2010

Soldier Gets VA Mortgage Center Scholarship after Submitting Winning Essay

(Ft. Drum, N.Y. -- July 12, 2010) SUNY Empire State College student and active duty Army soldier Specialist Ryan Rumminger recently was awarded a $1,500 scholarship funded by the employees of the VA Mortgage Center.com, a leading private provider of VA loans in association with the Veterans Administration’s home loan program. Winners are selected on the basis of a submitted essay. Rumminger attends the Ft. Drum Unit of Empire State College.

Rumminger’s winning essay describes his difficult teenage experiences, including the death of his best friend at age 16, his parents’ divorce, and dropping out of high school. Instead of being overcome by adversity, Rumminger eventually was inspired to join the Army in order to transform his life into something of service to larger ideals. He married the woman he “had been in love with since second grade,” and their son was born three weeks before his first deployment to Afghanistan. He is studying for an associate degree in global studies with the intent to go on for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He eventually wants to work for the United Nations in the efforts for global peace, security, and human rights. His military service, especially his deployment, has made him appreciate more deeply the freedoms and privileges we have here in the U.S. “I want to expand on the skills the Army has given me and use them to help shape the world to be safer and less violent,” he says. Rumminger’s winning essay can be viewed at http://www.vamortgagecenter.com/winners/ryan_rumminger.html.

VA Mortgage Center.com’s scholarship program awards five scholarships of $1,500 two times per year in May and November. Eligible applicants include current and prospective ROTC program students; active duty military personnel; honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. military, and family members of veterans or active-duty military.

SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York. Students learn through independent studies, online courses, seminars, and residencies. They also may earn credit for prior college-level learning from work and life experience. The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide with 34 locations in New York state and online. For more information, visit www.esc.edu.