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(Enlarge) Garrison Commander Col. Edward C. Rothstein, Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Charles E. Smith and Evelyn Silva, volunteer coordinator for the Enlisted Spouses Club, congratulate Kinza Shah, 17, a Meade High School senior, as the recipient of the ESC's Evelyn Silva Scholarship For Excellence on May 21 at Argonne Hills Chapel Center. (Photo by Marine Pvt. Ronald Brink)

A Meade High School senior who has volunteered to help the homeless is the second recipient of the Enlisted Spouses Club's Evelyn Silva Scholarship Award of Excellence.

Kinza Shah, 17, was presented the $2,000 scholarship at the club's annual scholarship award ceremony May 21 at Argonne Hills Chapel Center.

"I feel very grateful," Kinza said. "I feel like hard work always pays off."

The annual scholarship is named after Evelyn Silva, the club's volunteer coordinator and a longtime member who has served as president of the Thrift Shop Council. The council oversees the Post Thrift Shop. Proceeds from the shop benefit the ESC scholarship fund and other club activities.

Eligibility requirements for the scholarship included a minimum 3.0 grade point average and a commitment to volunteer service for more than a year.

In addition to the ESC scholarship, Kinza also was awarded a matching $2,000 scholarship from the central Maryland chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.

"I feel great, I'm so happy," said Kinza's mother, Tasneem Shah, who attended the event with Kinza's older sister Sabrina, who also received an ESC scholarship at the ceremony. "I was thinking Kinza was going to get the scholarship and she did."

Kinza, daughter of Sgt. 1st Class Abid Shah, 20th Support Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, was a volunteer for three years with Happy Helpers for the Homeless, a community service organization at Meade High School.

"I think its important to help the homeless, to help those who are less fortunate," said Kinza, who plans to study speech therapy at Towson University.

Before the ceremony, members of Fort Meade's Cub Scout Pack 377 presented the colors. Lauren Watt, an ESC member, sang the National Anthem. Chaplain (Maj.) Dean Darroux, director of pastoral ministries, gave the invocation.

Patricia Baker, incoming ESC president, said in her opening remarks that the ESC values community, hard work and education.

"We are here tonight to recognize and honor nine young adults who have risen above the challenges of being a 'military brat' to become strong examples in their community of volunteerism and education," she said.

Garrison Commander Col. Edward C. Rothstein, who helped to present the scholarships, commended the students for their hard work. He suggested that they "step back and give yourself a pat on the back for your accomplishments."

"You're a part of the Team Meade community," Rothstein said. "You represent us so well. ... You make the garrison and Team Meade very proud."

Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Charles E. Smith, attended the ceremony with his wife, Audrey, an advisor to the club. He said the ESC scholarships are very important, particularly in today's economy.

"With the cost of education being so expensive, many students and parents take out loans to pay for college, or resort to other measures," Smith said. "Scholarships are a great way to cover part, or sometimes even all, of the cost of a college education."

In addition to the Evelyn Silva Scholarship, the ESC awarded eight students a $1,500 scholarship based on service in school, church and community, as well as participation in sports.

The recipients were: Sabrina Shah, 21, a psychology and media/communications major at the University of Baltimore; Annalisa Irby, 18, a senior at Meade High School, whose father is Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jonathan Irby; Emily Moesner, 18, a senior at Archbishop Spaulding High School whose father is Air Force Lt. Col. John Moesner; Otis Duffie 18, a hotel management major at Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, N.C., whose father is retired Air Force Master Sgt. Otis Duffie; and Jessica Mineart, 19, a math major at Howard Community College whose father is retired Sgt. 1st Class Alvin Mineart.

Two scholarship winners, Celeste Delgado and Sophie Gaines, were unable to attend the ceremony, but were represented by their parents.

Delgado, 19, whose father is Master Sgt. Carlos Delgado, 7th Intelligence Squadron, is a sophomore at Anne Arundel Community College studying math.

Gaines, 20, whose father is retired Sgt. 1st Class Derreck Gaines, is a sophomore at Drexel University in Philadelphia studying architectural engineering and civil engineering.

Before the ceremony ended, Susan Renninger, a member of the ESC scholarship committee, wished the students well in their future endeavors.

"We know our young adults are a great investment," she said. "If we invest well, we'll get a good return."

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