The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced yesterday that it had awarded a record-breaking 177 new scholarships in 2018.

Combined with three multiyear scholarship recipients and two Fallen Heroes Scholars, the Foundation currently assists 182 students with $500,000 in support this year. In the 28 years of the program, the Coast Guard Foundation has paid out more than $5.1 million to about 960 college-aged young adults to help the families of Coast Guard members achieve their goals of higher education.

“The children of the brave men and women of the Coast Guard have shown dedication to their studies and communities. The high standards they’ve set for themselves are evident in the work they’ve done,” Susan Ludwig, president, Coast Guard Foundation, said in a statement announcing the scholarships. “We consider these scholarships not only an investment in the personal ambitions of the next generation, but also in the future of our country.”

Of this year’s outstanding scholars, 43% are STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) majors, 46% are children of active duty enlisted, and 54% are the children of retired Coast Guard members.

Scholarship recipients include Victoria Clendaniel, a biology major at Emmanuel College, who thanks to the Foundation’s support has been able to spend more time studying and taking part in extracurricular activities throughout her community. In her role as vice president of college’s Support Our Troops club, she has facilitated the creation of a morale program supporting the members of the locally-based Coast Guard cutter Tahoma.

Kelly Milbrandt grew up watching her father, Master Chief Petty Officer John Milbrandt, move up through the ranks of the Coast Guard in her hometown of Clearwater, Fla., and was inspired and motivated by his dedication. Kelly graduated seventh in her class, is a national cheerleading champion, and has volunteered over 400 hours at a local nonprofit as a mentor for children and teens. She will study environmental engineering at the University of Florida in hopes of sustaining and advancing conservation efforts.

Sam Arnold is a distinguished scholar who will attend Lafayette College to study economics. He challenged himself in high school with a course load consisting of primarily AP classes while continuing his commitment to his community. He achieved Eagle Scout ranking from the Boy Scouts of America, as well as several environmental awards, including the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry’s Conservation Award.

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.