NROTC Scholarship Recipient

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Following in his father’s footsteps, Mineola High School senior Nicolas Tavares had enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in June 2018, one year in advance of his graduation date. After scoring in the 90th percentile on his entrance exam, Nicolas’ recruiter urged him to apply for the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps Scholarship, which would provide him with all of the Marine Corps training, in addition to the opportunity to earn both his bachelor’s degree and an officer ranking while having his full tuition paid for through the scholarship. Nicolas was notified in March that he is one of five in the Nassau/Suffolk/New York City region who have qualified for the national scholarship.

Nicolas, whose father was a Marine in the ’80s after moving to the United States from Portugal, had been raised patriotic and always wanted to do more for his country. He has wanted to be a Marine since the fourth grade and has been preparing himself physically for the requirements by participating on the school’s track team.

“I feel lucky that I got this amazing opportunity,” Nicolas said. “My goal was always to be a Marine, regardless of whether I got to go to college first. I feel a lot more secure that I get to do both things that I want to do at the same time.”

Nicolas is also a lieutenant and captain of the Mineola Junior Fire Department, holds a second-degree black belt in taekwondo and serves as a lector at his church. He goes once a month to his recruitment office to work out and meet with other enlisted ROTC.

As part of the scholarship, Nicolas will receive full tuition, a book stipend, educational fees and other financial benefits at his choice of the country’s leading colleges and universities. Under the scholarship, he will spend four weeks each summer participating in the ROTC Summer Academy, as well as fulfill a commitment to the Marines after graduating from college. Nicolas intends to major in political science and has not yet finalized which college he will be attending.