By Paul McMahon, VFP Scholarship Committee
Chapter 25, Veterans for Peace, is pleased to announce that Jainaba Joof, a senior at Madison East High School, is the winner of the 2016 James Allen Memorial Peace Scholarship awarded within the Madison Metropolitan School District.
Jainaba wrote a winning essay on the assigned topic “Why I Believe War and Violence are Not the Answer.” She will receive $1,200 to attend Madison Area Technical College (Madison College) starting this fall. She intends to earn an associate degree in accounting.
Her strong letters of reference credit her with a broad array of activities and leadership responsibilities– from her family life to school extracurricular activities (President of the International Club) to mentoring and guiding fellow students with their studies and homework.
Chapter 25 has awarded a $1,200 peace scholarship to a Madison high school senior each year since 2009. The scholarship opportunity was open this academic year to all Madison public schools to attract a maximum number of applicants. Previous years focused on a single school.
Education, not Enlistment
Believing that many students opt for military service because they cannot afford the cost of post-high school education, Madison Veterans for Peace decided in 2009 to establish several scholarships to encourage post-high school training and study. Through generous contributions from both our members and community supporters, VFP focuses not only on Madison schools but also smaller rural schools, including Richland Center, Dodgeville, Spring Green, Boscobel, Baraboo and Muscoda. In recent years at several of the rural high schools, 10-15 percent of the graduating seniors have written powerful essays on the topic “Why I Believe War Is Not the Answer.” David Giffey works tirelessly to inform students in these districts, encourage applications, and award scholarships each May.
The program was named the James Allen Memorial Peace Scholarship to honor the late Dr. Jim Allen, a long-time VFP member and generous supporter and friend to all he met. Dr. Allen, a highly regarded ophthalmologist, practiced at the Madison Veterans Administration and University of Wisconsin hospitals. He died in 2011.