Mustang Scholars Foundation


Mustang Scholars Foundation

Mustang Scholars Foundation

Mustang Scholars Foundation

Mustang Scholars Foundation

Mustang Scholars Family

The objective of the Mustang Scholars program is to identify young men and women of character, intelligence and promise from our underprivileged community, and endow them with a strong educational platform and character-molding experience which will provide a springboard to their future.

Scholarship awards are made based on character, potential and financial need.

Scholar candidates were identified by the Admissions and ROTC departments of Valley Forge Military Academy and College and University of North Georgia.

Selections were made after interviews by the Mustang Scholars Foundation Executive Committee.

Meet the Mustang Scholars Class of 2015

Alois Steinbugl

Alois Steinbugl graduated from Altoona PA Area High School where he was a scholar athlete.

His high marks have earned him a steady spot on the honor roll since seventh grade. Two of his senior year accomplishments were jumping from Academic Trigonometry to AP Calculus while maintaining his 92% average plus he was named to 2nd Team Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League tight end for football.

He belonged to Students Against Destructive Decisions and The Student Athletic Leadership Committees and worked several part time jobs to earn money for expenses. He also completed a two week summer session at Leadership Camp at Outdoor Odyssey.

Alois enjoys sports, weight lifting, reading and drawing. His ultimate goal is to receive an Engineering degree.

Lisie Ramos

Lisie Ramos comes to us from Miami FL where she graduated from Coral Reef High School in June of 2013. From her extensive extracurricular training experience you can tell she has her eye on her goal of serving in combat, counter intelligence, the military police or federal law enforcement.

In between breaks in the school schedule she completed:

- 2011 FBI Summer Youth Academy at Miami Dade College

- 2011 Miami Dade Public Safety Training Institute Completion of Basic and Advanced Police Explorer Academy

- 2012 Cadet Basic Police Academy Diploma from Nation Cadet Training Center in Millersburg Ky

- Cadet Pathfinder School Graduate Dec 2012

Plus she found time since 2010 to be a local soccer coach for Dade County Sports and work part time to earn money to cover some of her expenses.

Lisie is confident, dedicated and proclaims she will never give up trying to reach her goals.

Meet the Mustang Scholars Class of 2016

Kobee Texter

Kobee Texter was an honor roil student and 2 time Basketball MVP in the Christmas Tournament for William Allen High School in Allentown PA.

He calls his father his hero because he overcame so many obstacles to become a successful person.

Kobee is enrolled in the Valley Forge Military College Early Commissioning Program. He’s not satisfied being OK. He wants to be the greatest he can be.

Nadeem Gooden

Nadeem Gooden came to Valley Forge after a successful senior year where he achieved A's and B's in his studies while exceling in baseball and basketball.

He received many college acceptance letters but chose Valley Forge because he wanted to be with people having the similar goals focused on the bigger picture of finishing their education and becoming good citizens.

Nadeem wants success in life to make his mother happy and show her what a great son she brought into the world.

Zaccary Stauffenburg

Zaccary Stauffenmburg was a PCL Wrestling Champion at Father Judge High School in Philadelphia.

He volunteered much of his time to coach in the Junior Crusader program, chaired the Annual Halloween Fundraising Drive in his senior year where more money was raised than in any of the three previous years and helped various offices throughout the school.

Zaccary placed First in the Travis Mannion Memorial Wrestling Tournament and was recognized by Philadelphia City Council for excellence in Wrestling.

He sees his future in law enforcement after fulfilling his military obligations.

Meet the Mustang Scholars Class of 2017

Dante Jordan - UNG

Dante is one of the first two Mustang Scholars from the University of North Georgia.


Blake Gorman - UNG

Blake is one of the first two Mustang Scholars from the University of North Georgia.

Congratulations to 2014 Mustang Scholars Valley Forge Graduate

Corey Hinson

Corey Hinson always wanted to be a US Army soldier and a policeman. Born and raised in West Philadelphia, Corey is the second oldest of four boys. He is also the second of his immediate family to go to college. After graduating from Valley Forge in May of 2013 as a Second Lieutenant, he plans to earn his Bachelor’s degree at Temple University.

Corey wants to be an Officer in the US Army. He would like to make the Army a career and plans on having a management position with the Military Police Division. Eventually, after he retires from the Army, Corey would like to start his own security business.

Corey is thankful to the Mustang Scholars Foundation. He says, “I am part of the Mustang family now. Once a Mustang, always a Mustang, and I’m very thankful for that.”

The Valley Forge Graduating Class of 2013 had five Mustang Scholars, three of whom also received their commissions.

Born and raised in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia, Christopher Cherry is in his second year at Valley Forge Military Academy & College with plans to graduate in May 2013. An outstanding cadet, he spent the summer working on the VFMAC campus as a college admissions advisor intern.

Chris plans to continue his education and eventually earn his Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management. Chris loves sports, especially football, and wants to someday become a football coach. He also plans to attend Marine Officer Candidate School.

Chris is thankful to The Mustang Scholars Foundation not only for assisting him financially, but also for providing him with a place he can call home here at Valley Forge.

Hugo Fragoso

Hugo Fragoso traveled all the way to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania from Los Angeles, California to receive his education as a cadet at Valley Forge Military Academy and College. Because he was a hard-working student with promise to succeed, he was honored by the Mustangs Scholars Foundation by being selected to become a Mustang Scholar.

He is currently on leave from school this semester because he is enlisted in the military. Hugo has a bright future ahead of him. He has already completed three semesters of study at Valley Forge Military Academy and College, and he will return to VFMAC to complete his education, earning his Associates degree.

He is grateful to the Mustang Scholars Foundation for their generosity and support.

Thomas Madigan

A native Northern Virginian, Thomas Madigan is the third of four sons. He is enrolled in the Early Commissioning Program at VFMAC and is majoring in Criminal Justice. Thomas plans to graduate in May 2013 and be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Military Police.

A former soccer player and cross-country runner, Thomas has run in Army Ten-Miler races. His enjoys freshwater fishing with his friends, which he says is a great way to learn patience and dedication.

Upon graduation from VFMAC, Thomas intends to complete his four-year degree at James Madison University in his home state of Virginia. After a career in the Army, he would like to work with law enforcement in some capacity, possibly on a SWAT team or with an Information Technology Unit.

Shenika Walker

Born and raised a Philadelphian, cadet Shenika Walker came to Valley Forge to earn her Associates degree and will graduate from VFMAC in May 2013. Shenika was recently promoted to 5th Captain of the College

She was awarded a Cadet Commendation Ribbon for outstanding achievement in academics and leadership during the 2011-2012 school year. An avid athlete, Shenika played Volleyball for VFMAC and enjoys playing basketball and dancing.

An outstanding cadet and student, Shenika has plans to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. She also plans to join the Army.

Shenika is grateful for her opportunities and credits the Mustang Scholars Foundation with providing her the tools for a successful education and future career.

Bermin Weilbacher-Matos

Bermin Weilbacher-Matos comes from a military family. He was born at the Yokosuka Naval Medical Center on the Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan and raised in Moyock, North Carolina.

Bermin’s father is a Master Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, and his mother served six years in the Navy. His older brother is a Lance Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps. Bermin felt VFMAC would allow him to begin service to his country and continue his family’s tradition of military service. He will graduate in May 2013 as a Second Lieutenant.

Bermin would like to attend North Carolina State for his Bachelor’s degree and then have a career in the U.S. Army. He wants to work in branch field artillery.

Bermin says the Mustang Scholars Foundation has helped him financially and reinforced his belief that being a good person of moral character brings good fortune.


Congratulations to the Class of 2012 Mustang Scholars who were commissioned on May 23.

Please enjoy our video tribute to them below.



2012 Scholars

Raiza Deyto

Raiza traveled across the country from northern California to pursue her education at Valley Forge. Raiza participated in the Early Commissioning Program and graduated from VFMAC in May 2012, commissioning as a Second Lieutenant.

She is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science at the University of Denver and is in the National Guard. Always outdoorsy and athletic, Raiza participated in college athletics and achieved title of Best Female Athlete in the spring of 2011. She became the first female wrestler at VFMAC.

Raiza plans to be a part of the Medical Corps, providing medical services to soldiers and doing research in oncology and nutrition. After the military, Raiza hopes to pursue a career as a physician, providing urgent medical care to civilians.

Raiza credits the Mustang Scholars Foundation with providing her the tools for a successful career.

Avalon Hendricks

Avalon Hendricks came to Valley Forge from her hometown in the San Francisco Bay area. She graduated from Valley Forge Military Academy & College in May 2012 with an Associate’s degree in Humanities.

Avalon enjoys going to school and learning. She is currently studying pharmaceuticals, and has been accepted at the University of Pennsylvania, where she plans to earn her Bachelor’s degree and then become a pharmacist.

Avalon plans to return home to the San Francisco Bay area upon completing her education. She feels fortunate to have all the opportunities that she has been given and plans to one day give back by helping other students go to college and pursue their dreams.

She thanks the Mustang Foundation for all the unconditional support they have provided her to get through college!

Jerel Maragh

Last year’s Mustang Scholar of the Year, Jerel Maragh, grew up in the Hartford, Connecticut area. Jerel graduated from the Valley Forge Military Academy & College in May 2012, and is attending the University of Miami School of Business Administration where he is majoring in Finance and Entrepreneurship.

Prior to attending VFMAC, Jerel enrolled in trade school and worked as an automotive and diesel tech for Ford Motor Company. He wanted to attend military school to learn discipline, and at VFMAC he received honors each semester and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Jerel was also a member of the Alpha Beta Gamma International Business Honor Society and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Jerel played varsity football at VFMAC for two years and also served as the Captain of the track team.

He credits his success to the Mustang Scholars Foundation for providing him the opportunity to change his life.

Robert Markunas

Born in Philadelphia, and raised in Ridley Park, Pa, Robert Markunas came to Valley Forge to join the Early Commissioning Program and be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United Sates Army, Pennsylvania National Guard.

Robert attended Ridley High School in Pa, where he played varsity football and lacrosse. He loves sports and says athletics have helped to mold him into the person he has become. Robert plans to become an athletic trainer and says he hopes to be engaged in some form of athletics throughout the course of his life.

Robert joined the National Guard because of his desire to help people. He hopes to become an Armor officer in the National Guard and plans to be a citizen soldier because he wants to become a leader both in the civilian world and the military.

Ashile Watson

Ashile Watson wants to own the Philadelphia Eagles. Born and raised outside Philadelphia in Norristown, Pa, Ashile attended Norristown High School, where she participated in Jr. ROTC for four years. Ashile enlisted as a private in the military after high school and enrolled at VFMAC the following year.

Ashile was not a Mustang Scholar her first year at VFMAC, but received a Mustang Scholarship the following year. She calls it “a blessing from God.”

Ashile commissioned as a Second Lieutenant at VFMAC and graduated in May 2012. She credits the Mustang Scholars Foundation with her success and says she wouldn’t be where she is today without their support.

Ashile is earning her Bachelor’s degree in Sports Administration at the University of Miami. She plans to become a sports agent for the NFL or NBA before owning the Eagles!


2011 Scholars

Abraham Aldus

Abraham was born in New Britain, CT. Most of his formative years were spent moving from one school to another. Prior to his arrival at VFMAC he attended four different high schools and played varsity football at each of them.

Shortly after his graduation from Portland High School in Maine, he joined other cadets in the Early Commissioning Program in Fort Knox, KY, for the Leadership Training Course. Upon successful completion Abraham joined VFMAC with the assistance of the Mustang Scholars Foundation. Abraham hopes that his time at Valley Forge will bring him excellence and success in both his personal and professional life.

He will graduate from VFMAC in 2011 as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Reserves.

Rafeek Fredrick

Upon graduation from Charlotte High School in Punta Gorda, FL Rafeek came to VFMAC on a scholarship provided by the Mustang Scholars Foundation. A basketball player in high school, Rafeek was interested in becoming a cadet at VFMAC via the Mustang Scholars program because he wanted to develop his leadership skills and because he knew, as a cadet, he would find himself in a great learning environment

Rafeek will graduate from VFMAC in 2012, at which time he would like to attend a four-year college or university to further his education in computer science. Rafeek feels honored and privileged to be a Mustang Scholar.

Julian Makara

Julian was born in Los Angeles,CA and grew up in a northeast section of the city known as Highland Park. Prior to attending VFMAC Julian was involved with a number of non-profit organizations and community groups that allowed him to support the area and the people that surrounded him during his childhood.

During his senior year at Benjamin Franklin High School, Julian was elected ASB President and he also served as a Co-Chair for an organization called LAPD’s Teen Community Advisory Board (Teen-CPAB). This group organized a large number of events for Julian’s community and surrounding communities.

One of the most significant events that Julian helped to implement was a yearly charity drive that provided Christmas gifts to families from a local elementary school. The gifts were needed because the FBI and LAPD had arrested so many local gang members from the area that many children were left with no one to provide for them.

While in high school, in an attempt to avoid the gang related violence that surrounded him, Julian was also involved in the LAFD’s Explorer program, Chicano Youth Leadership Council, Young Senators Program and a number of other non-profit organizations.

As a result of the Mustang Scholars Foundation support, Julian was able to attend VFMAC, and will ultimately be positioned to pursue his dream of gaining acceptance to one of the service academies or a respectable four year university. Julian is scheduled to graduate in December 2011 and after graduation hopes to obtain a bachelors degree in political science and a law degree.

Brigette Miller

Brigette was able to continue her education at VFMAC with financial assistance from the Mustang Scholars Foundation.

As a young girl from Richmond, NH Brigette was very involved with her church youth group, school track and field team, cross country team, the NRA Rifle Team and the National Honor Society.

During her tenure at VFMAC Brigette has taken advantage of a multitude of opportunities afforded to her including being selected captain of the very first female VFMAC volleyball team and traveling to the United Kingdom as a member of the 120 voice Regimental Choir that took part in the 2011 New Years Day celebration.

Upon graduation, in the summer of 2011, Brigette will be receiving the Valley Forge English Award. Brigette was invited to participate in Leadership Details at VFMAC and as such is the only female chain of command in the G Company with the rank of Ssg in the 83rd Corps of Cadets. She has recently been promoted to Captain of the S-One in her ROTC (ECP) program and will graduate as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Reserves. Brigette plans to continue her education and receive a degree in the medical field.

Past Scholars

Paying It Forward - Making Us Proud

Ahmed Ghuman: VFMAC Class of 2007

We were honored when Ahmed recently sent us an e-mail that said:

"I think you will be happy to hear that I will be completing my Master of Arts in Clinical/Counseling Psychology this summer from La Salle University. In the Fall of 2011, I will be starting the Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology Program at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM)!

It is in my great honor to continue to make you and the rest of the Mustang family proud of my accomplishments. I will always feel indebted to the opportunity that Mustang provided and as I have said countless times before, I can never even start to explain the heartfelt gratitude that I have towards the Mustang organization! Thank you for believing in me!"

Daniel Merritt: VFMAC Class of 2005

Leading by Example, Serving with Pride

Some people were born to lead. But some were meant to go just a little further and a little faster. Take Daniel Merritt. The native of Stamford, Connecticut always wanted to do something extraordinary with his life, so he joined the US Army as a way to serve his country while making his dream come true. Daniel felt privileged to be part of America's military, but he knew he could do more, and longed to attend military school to advance his goal of becoming an officer.

Thanks to the Mustang Scholars Foundation, he found the means to attend Valley Forge Military Academy & College in Pennsylvania. An education at Valley Forge opened doors. As a member of the ROTC Early Commissioning Program at Valley Forge Daniel received a commission in the United States Army reserve at the end of his two years. He went on with the financial support of the Connecticut National Guard to earn a bachelors degree from the University of Connecticut.

This experience gave Daniel the confidence and skills he needed to make a real difference in the world. He not only served proudly in Iraq; he started Operation Soccer Ball, a program that provides Iraqi children with soccer equipment, thereby building friendship and trust. His program is making life better for these children, just as the Mustang Scholars Foundation made life more fulfilling for him. Today, Daniel Merritt is still on active duty, lives in New York and works as Captain of the Military Police. He continues to lead, he continues to serve, he continues to inspire.

Joel Canfield: VFMAC Class of 2006

Investing in America by Investing in Those Who Served

For Joel Canfield, it's not enough to support our troops while they are overseas; you've got to give them the respect and honor they've earned when they return from service, especially when they are disabled and in need of jobs. It's called "giving back", and to Joel those words have special resonance.

Joel, now a successful businessman and philanthropist, didn't always have it easy. As a young man, he was able to attend Valley Forge Military Academy & College through a scholarship from the Mustang Scholars Foundation. Part of his Mustang contract was that at some point in the future Joel would give back to his community when he had the chance.

His two years at Valley Forge enabled Joel to become a commissioned officer in the US Army Reserves. After finishing his studies with a bachelor's degree from Temple University Joel entered the financial Industry.

Witnessing the financial meltdown of 2008 he saw the need to bring the Code of Honor and Integrity in to his new world. He coupled that vision with the need for wounded war veterans to be trained for jobs outside the military so he helped create the Wall Street Warfighters Foundation, an organization that trains and certifies disabled veterans to work in the financial industry.

So far, more than 35 disabled American veterans have been hired for permanent jobs in the field. The Mustang Scholars Foundation made a good investment in Joel Canfield. Now he's investing in America's talented veterans.


2010 Scholars

Arien Clinton

The Mustang Foundation is pleased to welcome Arien, from the Germantown section of Philadelphia, PA to our scholarship program. While attending Philadelphia Montgomery Christian Academy he participated in many activities such as basketball and track.

Arien’s charismatic personality and dedication to his academics are what make him such a remarkable leader and great addition to the Mustang family.

After attending Valley Forge, he hopes to continue his studies at Temple or Drexel University. Arien’s long term goals include becoming a nurse or going to medical school to become a doctor.

Ben Arcario

Ben is from Coopersburg, PA and enrolled at VFMAC in 2009 with financial assistance from the Mustang Scholars Foundation. During his time at Northampton Community College Ben decided to fulfill a childhood dream of life in the armed forces.

Ben successfully completed the Army Leadership Training Course in Ft. Knox, KY and was accepted into the Early Commissioning Program at VFMAC. He aims to continue his studies beyond Valley Forge Military College in the field of political science at the University of Pennsylvania. Ben will graduate from Valley Forge in 2011 as 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Reserves.

Cheyenne Vasquez

Cheyenne joins the Mustang family from Lawrence, MA While attending Roberto Clement High School he participated in both basketball and football. Cheyenne is a young man full of strength, character, and has the will to succeed in all that he does.

While attending Valley Forge he strives to be the best academic student and also the best cadet possible. His goals include being commissioned as second lieutenant in the United States Army and getting accepted to Boston University or College to further his studies.

Erica Tramontano

Erica comes to us from Masuk High School in Monroe, CT. Her uplifting and bright personality makes her shine as a true Mustang. Through her community involvement and participation in extra-curricular activities, Erica proves to evoke leadership and determination in all that she does.

She looks to her dad for guidance and inspiration and hopes to follow in his military footsteps. After becoming an army officer here at Valley Forge, Erica would like to continue on and study law.

Robert Southerland

Robert comes to us from Newtown Square, PA where he attended Marple Newtown High School. His commitment allowed him to shine as a leader on his lacrosse team.

Through hard work and determination, Robert has proven himself very worthy of the “Mustang” title. His communication and tactical skills, loyalty, and commitment to self-service show his true character.

While attending Valley Forge Robert’s goal is to commission as a second lieutenant and one day hopes to teach physics. We are honored to welcome Robert to our Mustang family.

Sarah Lowell

Sarah joins the Mustang Scholars programs from Clovis High School in Clovis, NM. She has been enrolled in ROTC and received the “Military Order of the World Wars” award.

Sarah has been an active member of her school’s band program and enjoys playing the clarinet. Her dedication to excellence has allows her to shine as true Mustang. We look forward to seeing Sarah continue on her journey towards success while being here at Valley Forge.

Zaid Diaz

Zaid Diaz comes to Mustang from The Philadelphia Military Academy. Originally from Honduras, Zaid has represented the United States well since arriving here.

During his time in high school Zaid led several service learning projects, helped in recruiting new cadets, and also participated in many color guard events to help increase school recognition. His academic and volunteer achievements exemplify his true dedication to being a Mustang in his own community.

Zaid’s dream is to become a chaplain in the United States Army. Currently volunteering as the Vice President of a youth ministry, Zaid is well on his way to achieving his goals.

2009 Scholars

Steven Antonello

Steve joins the Mustang Scholars program from New Brunswick, NJ. His charismatic personality and commitment to excellence have led him to many accomplishments throughout his academic career.

While here at Valley Forge he has held numerous leadership positions and received many well deserved awards. He is a member of the Anthony Wayne Legion Guard Honor Society as well as a Valley Forge Ambassador.

He is currently the captain of the Varsity Rifle team and holds the position of Captain, Regimental Training Officer. Steve can be easily identified as a true Mustang through his recognizable leadership and academic qualities.

Corey Ferrell

Corey comes to us from Wilmington, DE. He previously attended Delaware Military Academy. Corey is outgoing, charismatic, and is an overall great leader.

He participates in various athletics, including weight lifting and football. He has come to Valley Forge to further his education at a military college in order to become a great student athlete and core cadet leader. We are proud to welcome Corey to the Mustang family.

Jason Cooper

Joining us from The Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock VA, Jason is a great new addition to the Mustang family. As a “Sons of the American Revolution” recipient, Jason brings valuable leadership qualities to Valley Forge, where he hopes to learn how to “excel in the military, academically, as well as in the real world”.

In his free time Jason enjoys football, basketball, and also rugby. After joining the military he hopes to become a teacher. We are proud to welcome Jason to the Mustang Scholars program.

2008 Mustang Scholar

Simoni Lawrence

Simoni comes to us from Upper Darby, PA. He is currently a 2nd Lieutenant Cadet. He is a very accomplished athlete who has truly made a name for himself here at Valley Forge. He has demonstrated his leadership skills on the football team and has received the award for Conference Player of the Year.

On the academic side, Simoni has show great dedication to his studies and commitment to furthering his education. He has been offered multiple scholarships and plans to decide on his school of choice in the near future.

Clement Johnson

Clement comes to us from Carlisle PA where he lived with his mother Gwendolyn Johnson. Clement is an accomplished athlete who distinguished himself on the state level and was fist team all star as a quarterback and defensive back in his conference. His demonstrated leadership skills led him to be voted team captain. In addition he was an all conference Lacrosse player.

On the academic side Clement is proud of being named to the honor roll his senior year. Despite having an offer to play football at Temple, Clement chose Valley Forge because he felt that he needed to develop more academic discipline in order to prepare himself for life. During his interview the Mustang Board was impressed by the commitment to education demonstrated by his entire family.

With the dedication to academics and continuing development of his athletic talent Clement believes that the Valley Forge experience will open a door for him at a major university to continue to excel in both areas. His goal is to play professional football like many of the Valley Forge graduates before him.

Nigel Rose

Nigel comes to us from Kingston, Jamaica where he attended Jamaica College. The Mustangs are proud to welcome this overall high academic achiever.He was the manager and organizer of his own summer camp called Camp Success in Jamaica. He enjoys playing tennis and swimming. After graduation, he would like to train to become an airline pilot and fly for a major airline.

Tenika Edge

The first young woman to become a Mustang Scholar, Tenika comes to us from Leavenworth, KS. She has the enthusiastic support of her parents, Barry, Retired Military, and Harriet. We are proud to welcome this National Honor Society member and a Leavenworth High School student distinguished as a Who's Who among High School Students.

Tenika was a four year participant in JR ROTC and received awards as Color Guard Commander and as Drill Team Honor Guard. Outside the school Tenika has an enviable record of community service that includes tutoring middle school students, working for the Salvation Army, and helping at Special Olympics and local nursing homes.

Upon graduation in 2008 she will receive a commission in the Army National Guard and will continue towards a bachelors degree in Management.

Aaron W. Foote

Aaron is the first legacy Mustang. He came to us through the recommendation of his cousin Teo Espinal, Mustang ‘06. Aaron is from Haines City, FL where he lived with his mother Maria R Collado.

His academic accomplishments include; National Honor Society "Most Improved, English". He was in JR. ROTC and is a Leadership Academy graduate and recipient of the Military Officers Association Award. On the athletic front he was captain of the wrestling team and a member of the football team, the track team, the soccer team, the basketball team and the cheerleading squad.

Strong moral character is what Aaron considers one of his main strengths because it allowed him to develop a good self image and to create a respectable first impression.As a member of the Early Commissioning Program at Valley Forge Aaron had to undergo basic training at Fort Knox this summer. He did exceedingly well and made all at Mustang proud of our selection.

When Aaron graduates in the spring of 2008 he will be commissioned in the National Guard and will be able to continue his education at a University of his choice.

2007 Mustang Scholar

Markham Laird

Markham Laird comes to us from Montego Bay, Jamaica where he was first in his class at Cornwell College and was ranked Jamaica’s number two boys tennis player. He was named the most outstanding tennis player, 2002-2004 in the boys 18 and under category, winning both the Mainland International and Guardian Life tournaments.

He received advanced level passes on his General Cambridge Examinations in Caribbean Studies, Communications Studies, Physics and Technical Drawing.Markham continues to excel in both academic and athletic arenas. He hopes to become a professional tennis player, or to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and pursue his other dream of becoming a civil or mechanical engineer.

Ahmed Ghuman

Ahmed was so confident that the Valley Forge experience was the best thing for him that he enrolled last year and paid the first semesters tuition without knowing how he was going to pay for the second semester.

He approached Mustang once he was on campus and his energetic pursuit of our support won him a grant. We have been rewarded for our investment. He has a cumulative average of 3.6 and according to his football coach he is a role model for the team based on his quiet demeanor and tremendous work ethic. His leadership abilities are confirmed by his captaincy of the football team.

Ahmed comes to us from Upper Darby, PA where he was an outstanding scholar and athlete. After finishing at Valley Forge he intends to study medicine with the goal of becoming a physician.

2006 Mustang Scholar

Teofil Espinal

Teofil was born and raised in Corona, NY. He attended La Salle Military Academy, graduating in 2000. After graduation, he joined the Army and was stationed with the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum. He enlisted in the ECP (Early Commissioning Program) at Valley Forge in 2004.

He was commissioned as an Officer in May 2006. Teofil is continuing his education, studying Business Management, so that upon retirement from the Army he can open his own business.

Lieutenant Espinal is attending Brooklyn College.

Jeffrey Seamans

Jeffrey comes to us from Lowell, MA where he attended Lowell Catholic High School. He was accepted into the ROTC Early Commissioning Program at Valley Forge and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant USAR upon graduation. Jeffrey’s academic achievements include Phi Theta Kappa and a Silver Star.

Lieutenant Seamans is attending Villanova University.

Joel Canfield

Joel Canfield hails from Overland Park, KS. Joel joined the National Guard during his junior year of high school and following his senior year, attended Advance Infantry Training where he was certified as a 19 Delta, Calvary Scout.

Since coming to Valley Forge, Joel has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards: Valley Forge Silver Star Award, National Defense Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Ribbon and was in the top five percent of his class 2004-2005. He is also a member of the First City Troop, Philadelphia Calvary.

Lieutenant Canfield is attending Temple University.

William McCabe

William McCabe, originally from Pen Argyl, PA, was a student at Valley Forge from 2000-2006. During his academic career he was named Best New Cadet ’00 -’01, Best Old Man ’01 -‘02 and ’04 -’05, Best Squad Drill and Best Platoon Drill.

William was a member of the Marine Corps Reserve for two years and in that time he had been awarded the National Defense Medal, the Marine Corps Forces Reserves Medal and the Army Achievement Medal. He looks forward to completing his education and his Marine Corps career and hopes to open a personal security company one day.

William is on active duty in the United States Marine Corps in Iraq.

2005 Mustang Scholar

Daniel Merritt

Daniel Meritt was born in Stamford, CT and lives in Orlando, FL. Dan was voted “Most Improved” in his senior year of high school and was recognized as the number one participant in his basic training regiment in the US Army where he enlisted after high school.

Daniel spent three years on active duty, serving his country. He was accepted into the prestigious Early Commissioning Program at VFMAC. Daniel is now a 2nd Lieutenant USAR and a senior at the University of Connecticut.

Marcus Allen

Marcus Allen is from Fayetteville, NC and is an outstanding young man. He was accepted into the Early Commissioning Program and attended the Leaders Training Course at Fort Know, KY. In high school he was community-focused, being a Red Cross volunteer and a member of the JROTC for three years.

Marcus was also one of the top recruited athletes in the state of North Carolina. He plans to follow in his father’s footstep with a career in the US Army. Marcus is continuing his education at the University of Albany and is a 2nd Lieutenant USAR.

Daniel Winter

Daniel Winter is from Baltimore, MD and ranked as one of the top three applicants to the Early Commissioning Program. He is an outstanding student, having taken advanced placement in physics, trigonometry, biology and chemistry and was the recipient of a Congressional nomination to West Point.

He was selected as one of the top 400 student leaders in America’s high schools. Daniel has received his commission and is furthering his education at University of Maryland and is a 2nd Lieutenant USAR.

Chris Perren

Chris Perren was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. Determined to be the first black polo player in the US, Chris was featured in an HBO Real Sports program with Bryant Gumbel along with the VFMAC Polo Team.

He is currently majoring in Criminal Justice and has a clear view of his future, wanting to be a positive role model for men in the black community. He is currently a senior, attending Texas Tech University.

Samee Aziz

Hailing from Berwyn, PA, Samee Aziz attended Conestoga High School. An excellent student and leader in the Islamic Community, Samee has been instrumental in creating a positive dialog between Islamic and Christian students and has founded and run summer youth camps.

He wants to be a positive role model in the Islamic American Community, demonstrating that one can serve both his country and his religion without conflict. Samee plans to enter government service at the State Department after completing his education at Loyola University in Chicago where he is currently a senior.

Patrick McKiernan

Patrick McKiernan is a 23 year old senior at Villanova University, where he majors in the Political Science field. Patrick is currently very involved in activities at Villanova. This October he will be leading a group of 15 students to the Gulf Coast to assist in rebuilding efforts, a project he is continuing from last fall.

He is the fundraising chairman for the Disaster Awareness and Advocacy group at Villanova, a group whose goal is to raise funds and create awareness for the world’s disasters. He is also a Resident Assistant at Villanova’s satellite resident hall located at Harcum College in Bryn Mawr. In addition to his many scholarly activities, Patrick holds two part time jobs.

His interests include rowing, sailing, reading, and spending time with his friends. He is a graduate of Valley Forge Military Academy Class of 2003 and College Class of 2005 where he also held the position of Regimental Commander of the 77th Corps of Cadets.

2004 Mustang Scholar

Damien Bethea

Damien Bethea has the distinction of being the first Mustang Scholar to complete the program. From Seattle, WA, Damien attended Eastside Catholic High School in Bellevue.

He was captain of both the track and football teams and was recognized for his academic and student leadership. Damien comes from an urban environment and has used sports to help keep him out of trouble and on the right path.

At VFMAC he played football and basketball. He has been commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the US Army. Damien is now a 2nd Lieutenant USAR and a senior at Emory Riddle University.


Mustang Scholars Foundation proud of Our Scholars

Our scholars come from varied backgrounds and circumstances but participate with the common goal of being trained as future leaders.

They share a bit about themselves on this page. To find a specific scholar, visit the links below:





Mustang Scholars Foundation, Inc., 208 Chestnut St, Reading, PA 19602
Phone: 610-901-0015


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