Dustin Perry and Justin Cuomo, two service personnel students at NOVA 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 US Marine, Cuomo currently serves with the US 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 MEC. He also served with the Prince William County Volunteer Rescue Squad for the past two years and taught a female self-defense course with the Falls Church Police Department.
“The VA-ACME scholarship was an absolute blessing,” Cuomo said. “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. He has a GPA of 3.6 and 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 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.