AFA Announces the First Recipients of the Lt. Col. Romeo and Josephine Bass Ferretti Scholarship
The Air Force Association has awarded the Lt. Col. Romeo and Josephine Bass Feretti Scholarship to four recipients. The winners are Chrystine Bourbina, Vanessa Eaken, Erin Elbel-Thompson, and Cassy Piela. They are the first to receive this scholarship, selected with the assistance of AFSA and the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force.
The Lt. Col. Romeo and Josephine Bass Ferretti Scholarship is made possible by an endowment provided by Lt Col (Ret) Romeo and Josephine Bass Ferretti. The Ferrettis were long time supporters of the Air Force Association and advocates of education. The late Lt. Col. Ferretti served in the Air Force for more than 23 years and Mrs. Ferretti was a secondary and high school teacher. Each of the four scholarships awarded this year in their name is for $2500 and awarded to children of enlisted personnel.
Chrystine Bourbina is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Pharmacology and plans to become a licensed pharmacist. She has already completed an internship in a local pharmacy. While attending Monroe County Community College, she has maintained a 4.0 GPA and she graduated high school with a 4.14 GPA. She received several awards in her high school career including Cadet of the Year in AFJROTC. She was participated in the Color Guard, her high school Environmental Club, the AFJROTC Drill Team and the Varsity Tennis Team. Her father, Allan Bourbina, who was an Air Force Instructor for the 18th Logistics Readiness Squad retired in January 2006.
Vanessa Eaken is seeking a degree in Biomedical Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. Very interested in HIV research, she hopes to one day work as a lab assistant in Washington University’s ongoing experiment concerning Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms. In high school, while working a full time job she graduated in the top 5 percent of her class with a 3.88 GPA. She was also active in her high school community, participating in the Instrumental music committee, Youth for Conservation, her church youth group, and as 1st chair bassoon and low woodwind section leader in the Wind Ensemble and Orchestra. Her father is retired from the Air Force and now works as a welder.
Erin Elbel-Thompson is currently attending the University of Texas and hopes to double major in biology and political science and then attend medical school. She has volunteered at the Bitburg Air Force Base pediatric clinic and also participated in the world’s largest Model United Nations program at The Hague where she was Secretary General. She has won top student achievement awards in English, History and other subjects. She was Vice President of the Drama Club, ran cross country, and played soccer. She even found time to graduate 2nd in her class with a GPA of 4.025.
Cassy Piela is currently a first year student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she plans on studying Biomedical Engineering. She graduated high school as the class valedictorian, a GPA of 4.0 and was ranked first of 409 students. While in high school she won numerous awards including “highest average” in Geometry Honors, English Honors and others. She was also the president of the Technology Student Association, captain of her varsity volleyball team, co-captain of her varsity swim team, and played varsity soccer. Her father is retired from the Air Force and her mother is a teacher. The family lives in Fayetteville, NC.
AFA advocates education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), to develop the skills that are crucial to air power, national security and economic vitality. The scholarship is awarded on consideration of both merit and need. It highlights STEM fields of study and is available to dependents of Airmen in the active Air Force, Air National Guard, or Air Force Reserve Command.
To support these programs and other AFA initiatives, go to http://afa.planalegacy.org or http://www.afa.org/aef/cntrbtns/.
Contact: Lynette Cross at 703.247.5800 ext 4807 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AFA is a 501(C)(3), nonprofit organization promoting public understanding of aerospace power and the pivotal role it plays in the security of the nation. AFA has more than 230 chapters nationally and internationally representing more than 130,000 members. Visit AFA on the internet at http://www.afa.org.
Return to AFA Press Releases