Mary Fentress is going into her senior year as a human resources management major at Florida State University with one less worry—paying her tuition.

“I was so honored and it was amazing to meet everyone. I was very appreciative that they gave me the opportunity to focus more on my studies,” said Fentress, who graduated from Viera High School in 2018. “I felt proud to be an American.”

The Military Officers Association of America Cape Canaveral (MOAACC) chapter, during a luncheon on July 20, honored Fentress and nine other college students each with $5,000 scholarships to help fund the rest of their education. Eligible applicants must be a descendent of a service member.

“I will use this money to not work as much at Publix,” Fentress said.

For 38 years, MOAACC members have honored students continuing their education through the support of donations. This year’s luncheon and award ceremony was held at The Tides Collocated Club at Patrick Space Force Base.

“It’s great to see the look on people’s faces when you can help them out and eliminate some of the struggle that goes along with paying for college,” said Chairman Brent Baysinger. “Any time you make an investment in the youth, that’s an investment in the future of the country.”

Baysinger said that the scholarship board is extremely selective and each winning student showed high regard for military heritage among other merits.

Thomas Reilly, a Viera High School 2014 graduate, is another scholarship recipient who will be attending medical school in the fall at the University of Central Florida to pursue neurology and psychiatry.

“It definitely took a huge weight off my shoulders. It means I can take out fewer loans and can focus more on my studies,” Reilly said.

  • The other students to receive scholarships include:
  • Sean Alcorn, Merchant Marine Academy
  • Alexandra Baysinger, Florida State University
  • Isabella Bordner, University of Central Florida
  • Deborah Yelle, Florida
  • Southern College
  • Austin Hayes, University of Florida
  • Samantha Oates, Syracuse University
  • Spencer Smith, University of Florida
  • Mason Yaskovic, Florida Institute of Technology