When searching for scholarship opportunities, Severna Park High School senior Chandler Dearborn learned of a new award from the Anne Arundel County Board of Education for students entering the military: the Candace C.W. Antwine Military Service Award.
He was inspired to apply for the award after learning about Antwine, an AACPS board member who died unexpectedly in July 2021, and the ways that she served her country and extensively gave back to her community. On May 23, Dearborn, along with two students from Meade High School, each received $2,000 when they were honored at the inaugural Candace C.W. Antwine Military Awards reception.
Dearborn chose to enter military service because he looked up to his two grandfathers and brother, all of whom served in the military. He saw the military as a way to give back and serve our country.
“I chose Army over other branches because my brother was in the Army, and I saw all the benefits offered to him. I want to follow in his footsteps,” Dearborn said. “My goal in the Army is to finish my four years and transition into becoming a pilot, whether in the military or as a civilian commercial airline pilot.”
Board of Education member Dana Schallheim, who represents District 5, said each awardee is “amazingly selfless and deserving.”
“What stood out about Chandler’s application was his maturity. He saw that by going to college, he would have six figures of debt at the end,” Schallheim said. “Instead, he elected to pursue a path in the U.S. Army as an aviation operations specialist, which will provide him with a challenging and financially secure future.”
Dearborn believes more students should consider a military career because of the many benefits available, including traveling the world, meeting people, and most importantly, serving his nation and its citizens.
“Elevating our students who elect to enlist to serve our country in the military after graduation is just as important as recognizing our students who choose college or a trade school, yet the Candace C.W. Antwine Military Service Award [may be] the only award of its type in the country,” Schallheim added. “Our job is to set our students up for success no matter the path they select after graduation.”
Contrary to popular belief, the military does not cover all expenses. The Candace C.W. Antwine Military Service Award assists awardees with initial expenses related to enlisting, including basic training supplies, and aims to remove financial barriers to military service.
“Ms. Antwine was a committed voice for children in need and for military families throughout Anne Arundel County. She also concentrated her efforts on eradicating bullying and racial tension in schools and expanding specialized accommodations to assist students with disabilities,” Schallheim said. “Ms. Antwine tirelessly advocated for students, veterans and animals through various nonprofits, such as the Meade High School PTSA and the Maryland State Boys Choir, as well as faith-based organizations. The Candace C.W. Antwine Military Service Award is a fitting and lasting tribute, continuing her lifetime of service to her country and community.”
The Candace C.W. Antwine Military Service Award is made possible solely by the generosity of the community. Consider supporting this innovative and historic initiative. Donations of any amount can be made at www.antwine.givesmart.com.
Meade High School student Jemuel Bombay, who has enlisted in the Air Force, and fellow Meade student Luis Ramirez, who has enlisted in the Army, were the other two students receiving this inaugural award.