Kirtland Spouses Club awards scholarships

  • Published
  • By Jim Fisher
  • Kirtland PA

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- The Kirtland Spouses Club awarded nine scholarships in their annual scholarship banquet April 17, 2019 at the Mountain View Club here.

The scholarships, totaling more than $12,000, were given to seven high school seniors and two dependent spouses. The Spouses Club, a philanthropic non-profit organization, raised the funds primarily through the KSC Thrift Shop on base, according to Michelle Strandberg, event emcee and KSC vice president of welfare.

“It’s nice to see the results of all the efforts of the Thrift Shop and everyone who makes it work,” Strandberg said, adding that it was an honor to present the awards. “Every hour volunteered is very valuable to us.”

The scholarship award will serve as an academic boost, according to recipient Grace Bernhart, who received the Victor Ortiz Scholarship. The student at La Cueva High School lettered in academic excellence, national honor society, tennis and cross country.

“It means a lot to me. I really appreciate it because it will help me to continue what I want to pursue [academically],” Bernhard said.

In addition to Bernhard, students Alyssa Capuano, Audrey Kelch, Oliver Harner, Elijah Stamper, Morgan Fleming, Yeseria Davila-Dutton, Kathryn Mendel received scholarship awards. Erica Hoeffner was awarded the Bobbie Collins Scholarship.  Like the Victor Ortiz Scholarship, the Bobbie Collins Scholarship was named for dedicated volunteers who provide pro-bono tax accounting and legal services, respectively.

KSC President Melissa Galbreath said programs like the scholarship awards mean helping families.  

“It’s really our pleasure as a Kirtland Spouses Club to be able to support them in this way,” Galbreath said. She cited key volunteers Dr. Ivy Vitanzos-Cervantes, the KSC’s scholarship chair and Ortiz as giving more than 80 hours to put the program together. “From updating applications, contacting the schools, distributing the packets, working with our publicity to make the announcements—a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into it.”