Ascension Veteran’s Association plans to award scholarships

Kacy Haydel, Reporter
Ascension Veteran’s Association is giving away scholarships and is asking for the public to apply.

The Ascension Veteran’s Association is a non-profit organization that works to help local veterans and their families. This year the AVA is giving away up to three $1000 scholarships to help support veterans or their family members pay for college expenses.

The AVA was founded about three years ago by some veteran service organizations and other community members. For the first couple years the organization focused on providing care packages and other things for the local guard unit that was deployed and also assisted their families. With less troops deployed now, the Ascension Veteran’s Association wanted to help veterans and their families in other ways.

Scholarship chairman Tanya Whitney explained that the AVA had extra funds this year resulting in the scholarship.

“Well now with the drawdown we don’t have as many troops deploying overseas so we were looking at discussing other ways to utilize the money that we’re raising and that was one of the things we came up with was the scholarship,” Whitney said.

The goal of the scholarship is to defray education expenses for veterans or their families.

Whitney said the AVA is hoping this is something that will help fill the gap for those students who want to go to school and even spouses or veterans that are trying to go to school, “to lessen that financial impact on their household.”

Ascension Veteran’s Association president Brent Gautreau said they hope to make this scholarship available annually.

“As long as we keep raising the money and have some to give away they’ll get it all,” Gautreau said. “We are totally non-profit, nobody gets a paycheck, every dime we get goes back to the solider.”

The deadline to apply for the scholarship is February 1. Whitney encouraged people interested in the scholarship to contact the Ascension Veteran’s Association with any questions about the scholarship or the eligibility requirements.

 “If you are not sure if you are qualified then give us a call.” Whitney said, “We try to make it as open as possible to supporting our veterans and their families within the parish so like I said any information they need or if they are not sure if they qualify or not they can give us a call and we can go through the process with them and see if we can’t figure out a way to make them qualified.”

The recipients of the scholarship will be chosen in early March, and the scholarships will be presented at a “Musical tribute for the troops” on March 13 at the Gonzales Civic Center.

The scholarship requirements and application can be found on the Ascension Veteran Association’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ascension.veteransassociations

Those interested can also contact the scholarship Chairman at AVAscholarship@gmail.com or by calling (256) 656-2124 or (225) 485-7875.