Next Generation Leaders

Arizona Teen Earns TMF 2018 Character Does Matter Scholarship

When we invest in veterans, our youth, communities, and nation thrive.

Samantha Schneider, a senior at Desert Ridge High School in Mesa, Arizona, knows first-hand that veterans are civic assets, and has been under the mentorship of one for over a year.

Ben Alexander, a Youth Development Sergeant with the Mesa Police Department and US Marine Corps veteran, sought out TMF’s Character Does Matter initiative to integrate with the Mesa Police youth development program. He went through CDM Mentor training in 2017.

There, Ben met Sam, and connected with her to pass on invaluable lessons in leadership, service, and character.

“From the moment I met [Sam], her personality, the way she carried herself, her character, all shined above her peers,” Ben said.

“In over a decade of working with youth, I’ve never come across a young person more committed, more dedicated, more professional than Sam,” he said.

Sam – who also maintains a 4.0 GPA and participates in her school’s Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps – leads her fellow cadets in Operation Legacy  service projects with TMF. Most recently, Sam and her fellow cadets with Mesa Police Cadet Post 2055 cleaned out accumulated trash and debris from behind the home of a local Navy veteran.

“Sgt. Alexander has always been a great mentor to me, in showing me how to positively reinforce people,” Sam said. “He’s always motivating us and giving us advice.”

Travis Manion Foundation was honored to recognize Sam’s leadership and her willingness to step up in times of need at our 7th Annual “If Not Me, Then Who…” Gala with the Character Does Matter Scholarship.

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TMF Stats:
001 78,000+ Veterans + Survivors Empowered
002 300,000+ Spartan Members
003 650,000+ Youth Living "If Not Me, Then Who..." Movement