Raytheon Missiles & Defense, a Raytheon Technologies business, has partnered with the Student Veterans of America to award two $10,000 scholarships to U.S. Navy student veterans.
The recipients are Francheska Salazar, a sophomore at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Chris Ricks, who attends Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts.
The scholarship, named for the Navy’s SPY-6 family of radars, helps veterans achieve their educational goals and succeed in their transition to civilian life. It is part of the company’s longstanding support for military veterans, which includes a $5 million commitment to SVA.
A humanitarian at heart
Pride in service runs deep in Francheska Salazar’s family, as she is a fifth generation veteran, but her decision to enlist in the Navy extends beyond tradition.
"I realized how much each generation of my family sacrificed so I may have the privilege to have choices," Salazar said. "I was not about to waste this opportunity."
While serving 13 years in the military, Salazar deployed to Latin America on humanitarian missions that helped shape her career trajectory and life purpose.
"I want to be part of a team that works to find long-term solutions," said Salazar, who aspires to work in immigration and human rights policy.
After separating from the Navy, Salazar used her GI Bill at a community college where she earned paralegal degrees. It left her with limited benefits to complete her bachelor’s degree and attend law school.
"The SPY-6 scholarship gives me peace of mind and hope," she said.
A life of service
Chris Ricks wanted to be a part of something bigger than himself, so he joined the Navy’s Submarine Force.
"Every day on a nuclear submarine was something special," said Ricks, an 8-year veteran. "Every sailor has a unique role in accomplishing the mission."
The former sailor will use the SPY-6 scholarship to help pay for his MBA.
"I look at it as a long-term investment that will serve as a foundation for the next chapter of my life," he said.
Ricks hopes to someday use artificial intelligence to improve the lives of others in agriculture, health, finance and education.
"My military experience has given me a passion to empower others, improve systems and solve problems with cutting-edge technology," he said.