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Two NOVA students receive prestigious military scholarship

Dustin Perry and Justin Cuomo
Pictured (left to right) Justin Cuomo and Dustin Perry.

Dustin Perry and Justin Cuomo, two service personnel students at Northern Virginia Community College each received a $1,000 scholarship at the 12th annual Virginia Advisory Council on Military Education (VA-ACME) Symposium in Norfolk. The VA-ACME awards  multiple scholarships at its annual event honoring  veterans, active duty and/or permanently disabled service member recipients for their academic achievements. 

VA-ACME scholarships are awarded to an active duty, drilling reservist, or National Guard member, spouse of an active duty, drilling reservist National Guard member, or military retiree, child of active duty, drilling reservist, National Guard member or military retiree, a permanently disabled military member or family member (spouse or child) or family member of service member missing/killed in action and/or Veteran or retiree of the Armed Forces.

A former active duty U.S. Marine, Cuomo currently serves with the U.S. Marine Reserves in the National Capital Region. As a NOVA student, he is pursuing an emergency medical services (EMS) associate degree and national paramedic certification at NOVA’s Medical Education Campus.  He has also served with the Prince William County Volunteer Rescue Squad for the last two years and has taught a female self-defense course with the Falls Church Police Department. 

“The VA-ACME scholarship was an absolute blessing,” Cuomo expressed. “It couldn't have come at a better time as other sources of support have been exhausted. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be such a recipient and I appreciate tremendously the opportunity and intend to make the best of what has been afforded to me.”

Perry served in the United States Army for six years as a public affairs specialist with duty stations at Camp Zama, Japan and Fort Bliss, Texas. He deployed to Iraq for 10 months in service of Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2006 to 2007. Perry has 18 years of continuous experience in public affairs, photojournalism and technical editing with the Department of the Army and Department of Defense. He is currently pursuing a liberal arts degree with an emphasis in communications at NOVA’s Alexandria Campus.  While maintaining a 3.6 GPA, he also serves as a technical editor with the Department of the Army Inspector General Office at the Pentagon.

“I was excited, proud and genuinely surprised. I felt honored that VA-ACME had selected me, because I'm sure there were hundreds, if not thousands, of equally deserving applicants,” Perry said. “I was with my wife and daughters when I received the news, so it was great to be able to share that moment with them. I can say for certain that I would not have received the scholarship without the support of my NOVA professors.” 

The VA-ACME mission is to provide progressive and innovative support for an ever-changing academic environment. VA-ACME is committed to addressing military education issues within the Commonwealth of Virginia.

 

Media Contact: Kristina Ogburn | 703.503.6338 | kogburn@nvcc.edu

 

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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.

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