AFTAC CGOC awards scholarship to local teen
By Susan A. Romano, Air Force Technical Applications Center Public Affairs
/ Published August 08, 2016
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
When she’s not executing her stickhandling skills on the lacrosse field, you might find Madison Zook helping grade school students improve their literacy, volunteering as a Relay for Life captain, or taking the stage with her fellow thespians at her high school.
And if that’s not enough, you might also find her spending time at her church working on various community service projects or attending Future Business Leaders of America meetings – all while balancing an eye-watering 4.3 grade point average.
So it stands to reason that the recent Edgewood Junior/Senior High School graduate received a $500 scholarship from the Air Force Technical Applications Center’s Company Grade Officers Council for her outstanding achievements July 29, 2016 at a ceremony held at the nuclear treaty monitoring center at Patrick AFB.
The council reached out to Brevard County schools to advertise the scholarship to high school students in the area. Criteria for eligibility included a minimum 3.0 GPA, graduating/graduated from a Brevard County high school, and accepted into a 4-year institution of higher learning.
AFTAC’s CGOC is an alliance of company grade officers (lieutenant through captain) whose charter is to promote the development of CGOs throughout the Air Force; develop and maintain an informational network to enhance professional development; encourage community service and camaraderie; and provide a communication structure to deliver the pulse of the CGOs to Air Force senior management.
The CGOC board presented Madison with the council’s annual scholarship that recognizes local students who are pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM). Applicants were required to submit a resume, a list of community service involvement, all organizational memberships, and a 2-page essay on one of the four aspects of STEM.
Madison’s essay was entitled, “The Significance of Data Science” and it focused on a topic that is close to her heart: business analytics.
“I am pursuing my bachelor’s degree in business and I thought I’d focus my essay on that subject,” she said. “Part of the essay question asked about what I felt the lasting effects will be in my selected field of study, and I stated that business analytics will have the largest impact in the next decade on the medical field, the military, intelligence agencies and the business world, primarily because they’re all driven by scientific questions, technological innovation and societal demands.”
Madison’s parents Lee and Rhonda were present when AFTAC’s vice commander, Col. Jeffrey W. Dyball, presented her with a certificate of recognition for her efforts.
“We are extremely proud of her,” said Rhonda. “As the youngest of our three children, she has always been the competitive one. Last summer she attended the U.S. Naval Academy Summer Program at Annapolis, which was a very competitive program. We know she’s going to do well with whatever career path she chooses.”
AFTAC’s CGOC sifted through several applications and found all the submissions to be top quality.
“It was tough for us to narrow down the winner to just one person,” said 1st Lt. Michael Duff, CGOC STEM scholarship chairman. “But Madison’s definitely stood out, especially with the amount of accolades, honors and community service she’s performed throughout her high school years. We’re proud to present her with the $500 scholarship. It was definitely well earned.”
Madison is headed to Auburn University in the fall and hopes to someday own a cosmetics company, where she can apply every aspect of her business analytics degree.