‘If Je’Benjamin can do it, so can other students’: Westover senior becomes first Albany student to win $180K ROTC scholarship

Westover senior becomes first Albany student to win $180K ROTC scholarship

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Je’Benjman Morgan is a winner.

It’s the first time a student in Albany won a $180,000 ROTC scholarship.

The scholarship is part of a nationwide competition. It’s for high school students who want to go to college and eventually serve in the United States Marine Corps.

Morgan said he wants more students in the community to know they can win this scholarship too.

Morgan is a high school senior at Westover High School. He said when he first heard about the scholarship program, he was skeptical.

“How can little ole me from Albany, Georgia get something like this, that world renowned? Just to be able to get it helps me know that I can do more than just the stigma here,” said Morgan.

Je'Benjamin Morgan and Perlie Dawson, his mother.
Je'Benjamin Morgan and Perlie Dawson, his mother. (Source: WALB)

Morgan said he’s happy he officially has the check.

“It’s here, it’s tangible. I know that I got it and I know I have many more things to come,” said Morgan.

Morgan said he couldn’t do this on his own, saying his family, friends and commanding officers were a big help.

His mother Perlie Dawson said Morgan was determined to get this scholarship

“I believe that he really understands that he had to work to get this scholarship, and he has produced and we love JeBenjmain very much and we’re going to be supportive for him in the next years to come,” said Dawson.

Westover Principal William Chunn said Morgan deserved it.

“He’s earned it. He’s a very fine young man. It’s always good to see god things happen to good people,” said Chunn.

He said it’s important to get involved in programs while in school.

William Chunn, Westover High School principal.
William Chunn, Westover High School principal. (Source: WALB)
Dennis Renew is a captain in the United States Marine Corps and is an executive officer for recruiting.
Dennis Renew is a captain in the United States Marine Corps and is an executive officer for recruiting. (Source: WALB)

‘Because you just don’t ever know what is going to happen. Let Je’Benjamin be an example for you. This is record breaking. You know, the first in Albany, the first in surrounding area. So, if Je’Benjamin can do it, so can other students,” said Chunn.

The executive officer for the recruiting station Dennis Renew said although this is the first time someone in Albany won the scholarship, the odds of winning it if you apply are in your favor.

“The selection rate is 34%. This is who actually go through the process and are determined to be qualified. The selection rate is pretty high for $180,000. I would implore more people to go to net focus fill out the application and come in a talk to the Marines,” said Renew.

Morgan had some advice for students in the community.

“The students here in Albany, we can be more we don’t have to stay here we don’t have to think that this is the only thing that’s going for us we got greater,” he said.

If you are interested in seeing if you qualify for this scholarship, call (912) 399-6197.

Some qualifications:

  • SAT: 1,000
  • ASVAB: 74
  • ACT: 22
  • Physical Fitness Test: 200

Copyright 2021 WALB. All rights reserved.