Archive for Wednesday, May 18, 2005

2005 Tonganoxie graduate lands ROTC scholarship

May 18, 2005

Jake McGhee has his sights set on college.

And because of a U.S. ROTC scholarship, he gets to go to the college of his choice.

Jake has chosen Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

"What this scholarship doesn't pay for at Baylor, Baylor has given me the rest," McGhee said.

The only thing McGhee will have to pay is $3,000 his first semester, he said.

Then, after he proves he can maintain a 3.0 GPA or better, he will no longer have to pay $3,000 a semester.

Late last year, U.S. Rep. Jim Ryun, R-Kan., chose McGhee as one of his 10 nominees for an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Though McGhee was not selected, the nomination was a great honor.

McGhee considered attending school at Kansas State University but changed his mind after a visit to Texas.

He said he felt comfortable at Baylor, in part because it's a Baptist college.

"There's a really good Christian background throughout the whole school," said McGhee, who is a member of Tonganoxie's West Haven Baptist Church. "The pieces just kind of fit together. I just felt like the answer to my prayers was to go there."

McGhee, who was third in line for valedictorian, held a 4.0 grade-point average throughout high school. He had attended public school in Tonganoxie since he was in kindergarten.

"The teaching staff is amazing here," McGhee said. "The people are so nice and so willing to work with you. They really care about you, they don't give up -- that's the great part about those teachers. Without them I would definitely not have received this scholarship and I'm very thankful to them."

In presenting the scholarship, Grieves said the Air Force ROTC scholarship covers full college tuition, provides a textbook allowance and pays most laboratory or incidental fees. In addition, a $250 tax-free monthly allowance is paid to the scholarship winner throughout the school year. This amount will increase to $400 by his senior years. The value of the scholarship may exceed $100,000.

And, Grieves said, the end result of the scholarship is an officer's commission in the U.S. Air Force.

McGhee, who is the son of Dan and Bridgett McGhee, Lawrence, and Shelly McGhee, Tonganoxie, said he plans to pursue a five-year degree program, seeking a double major in math and electrical engineering with a minor in Spanish.

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