There are five students in the Quad City area who are "soaring" tonight thanks to a scholarship from The Sedona Group and the help of WQAD.
On this Memorial Day, Monday, May 26th, 2014, News 8's Angie Sharp surprises the first of five winners - a student who is marching towards his future.
Jacob Vroman is from Erie, Illinois and a member of the Military Explorers Post #9044 in Davenport. According to the group's website, they teach "United States Military Training Practices."
"We learn military discipline and the respect and the responsibility," says Jacob. "It teaches us to do what we need to do and get it done right."
During one of their weekly meetings, WQAD and The Sedona Group surprised Jacob with a $1,000 scholarship.
"I feel very blessed," says Jacob. "I don't feel like I was entitled to it more than anyone else was. Everyone had a fair chance and I feel through the past years of my life, my whole life, I've worked for this and I just was honest and told people what I've done and what I'm capable of."
Jacob is home-schooled and plans to go to Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois to become a Case New Holland Service Technician.
"I plan on learning all I can about diesel engines, farm equipment, their implements, just farm stuff - fun stuff," says Jacob.
Jacob says he also enjoys giving back to his community and the Military Explorers has given him that opportunity. During their meetings they stand in formation, do physical training, and practice the duty of color guard, which Jacob performs during ceremonies on days like Armed Forces Day. He has also helped the Honor Flight, participated in parades, placed American flags in parks, and plans activities with the American Legion Post #26 in Davenport.
Jacob says he enjoys opportunities that involves helping our veterans.
"What they've done - that would be the most respectable and honorable thing we can do for them."
Jacob says he's looking forward to going to college in the fall and training to be back on the farm helping farmers.
"I grew up in a farming family so all I've ever known was the tractor rides with grandpa and dad and my uncle," he says. "That's where my passion and my heart came from was that. That's what I truly enjoy and I still want to do. I don't want to leave that behind."
The Sedona Group's S.O.A.R. Scholarship stands for Strength, Opportunity, Achievement, and Resolve. The $1,000 scholarship is given away every year to five area high school seniors.