Four CUKC doctor of chiropractic students have been named the first recipients of a matched scholarship benefiting children and other dependents of U.S. Armed Forces veterans meeting the Veterans Administration “Chapter 35” criteria.
Lillian Schnakenberg, Independence, Mo., Brandon Hawkins, Kansas City, Mo., Christopher On, Basehor, Kan., and Rhett Hanson, Kansas City, Mo., will each receive approximately $6,000, which is applied across the spring, summer, and fall trimesters.
Jessica Ramirez, vice president of advancement, said the amount of the yearly awards will vary, depending on the number of qualifying students, but will never be less than $1,000 per qualifying student. Any new or returning Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) student who meets the criteria will be eligible for an award. The HOAPF scholarships are renewable.
The $25,000 gift from Kansas City-based Heart of America Patriot Foundation was matched with $25,000 from CUKC.
Veterans Administration Chapter 35 designation refers to a dependent of a veteran who has been identified as 100% disabled, died during service, categorized as missing in action or captured in the line of duty, or held by a hostile force. Chapter 35 eligibility can also apply to dependents of service members in a hospital or getting outpatient treatment for a service-connected permanent and total disability.
Lillian Schnakenberg said she felt deep gratitude for being named for an award.
“Being involved with Chapter 35 has opened many opportunities for me,” she said, “such as being able to live on my own, further my education through certification or seminars, and simply being able to keep my focus centered on my education instead of outside income to meet my needs.”
Brandon Hawkins said that he was ecstatic after learning he was a recipient.
“I originally wasn’t aware of the scholarship, and when I was notified, I thought to myself, ‘Why not apply?’ After submitting the paperwork, I didn’t really think much about it. Getting the email that I would be awarded stopped me dead in my tracks and I smiled with joy. It truly is a blessing… and I’m thankful not only to have received it, but to know there’s help and support out there for me and other students in need.”
Christopher On acknowledged his father’s military service when thinking about the significance of his award.
“My stepdad made so many sacrifices while he was in service, and though I don’t know the details fully, I’m grateful for how he served our country,” On said. “He continues to serve our family now, and I’m so thankful to have him in my life. I love him, and I’m thankful God brought him back safely to protect my mom.”
Rhett Hanson said he was overwhelmed by the generosity of the scholarship and the recognition it gives to his family.
“My dad sacrificed his health to provide a better future for this country and I am eternally grateful for what he has done,” Hanson said. “This scholarship has relieved an extraordinary amount of stress and will help me to continue throughout the rest of my time in college.”
Jessica Ramirez, vice president of advancement, noted the window for applying for the next round of CUKC scholarships is from Aug. 1 to Oct. 15, 2022. During that time, students can go online to the Scholarships and Memorials page of the CUKC website to see descriptions of all opportunities and to apply. The web address is www.cleveland.edu/alumni/cleveland-foundation-giving/scholarships-memorials/.
Ramirez said any CUKC students who have questions about scholarship opportunities should contact CUKC financial aid staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or (913) 234-0736.
About the Heart of America Patriot Foundation
The Heart of America Patriot Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) organization, has a mission of “A nation where dependents of deceased or 100% disabled veterans can attain a debt-free college education.” In 2018, the Foundation began awarding grants to educational institutions willing to provide matching funds.