With the cost of higher education showing no signs of becoming less expensive, it is not uncommon for college-bound students to apply for scholarships.
This is what Cameron Allenshipman did and the Redmond High School (RHS) senior was recently notified that he has been awarded a scholarship that will cover the cost of college — and then some.
Through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC), Marine Option, Scholarship, the 17-year-old will receive $180,000 to go toward his education after leaving RHS.
“It was a big relief,” Allenshipman said about receiving the news, “like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.”
He was one of eight students from Washington, Idaho and Montana to be selected from more than 500 applicants.
“We are so proud of Cameron and thrilled that he has received this prestigious scholarship,” said Andrea Snyder, career specialist at RHS. “It is always our goal to help match students to potential scholarship opportunities. We know he will be very productive and successful as he continues his education at Washington State University (WSU).”
Allenshipman said he wants to study engineering at WSU but has not decided on a specific field yet. He will join the U.S. Marines after earning his undergraduate degree.
Allenshipman said he always knew he wanted to join the military and serve and give back.
This attitude of giving back has manifested in other parts of his life. As a member of St. Jude Catholic Church in Redmond, Allenshipman said he has volunteered when homeless encampments such as Tent City 4 and Camp Unity Eastside have been on their grounds, helping provide meals for the residents.
To apply for the NROTC scholarship, Allenshipman had to submit a number of components, including his grades and SAT scores, which are typical of scholarship and college applications.
In addition, he had to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), a test that measures developed abilities and helps predict future academic and occupational success in the military, according to its website. On the ASVAB, applicants are tested in various areas including basic mechanical compression, electronics information, mathematics knowledge and word knowledge.
Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Dinsmore, a career counselor for the Marines who visits RHS’s career center once a month, said they use the ASVAB as a test for applicants’ occupational fields.
Scholarship applicants were also interviewed by three Marine-commissioned officers. Dinsmore said interviewees were asked situational questions so the interviewers could get a feel for their behavioral responses and their ability to assess and judge a situation, make decisions and more.
Another part of the application process for the NROTC scholarship was the Presidential Fitness Test, to measure students’ physical fitness.
To prepare for this, Dinsmore said he had Allenshipman and three other local students who were applying for a scholarship do a preliminary fitness test and then offered them guidance on how to train in order to be competitive.
Being physical and active has always been part of Allenshipman’s life. He has played recreational soccer since he was 12, though he had to sit out this year due to an injury. He has also been on the RHS wrestling team since his sophomore year.
But Allenshipman’s first sport is baseball, which he took up at the age of about 7. He has stuck with the sport and has played for the RHS Mustangs all four years of his high school career.
Allenshipman said one of the things he enjoys about baseball is how it is a team sport but still allows the individual athlete to “do (their) own thing” when they step up to the plate. He also enjoys spending time with his teammates.
“Baseball players in general are kind of goofy,” Allenshipman said.
In response to this comment, Dinsmore laughed, telling the senior that he would like the Marines.
“We’re all a bunch of clowns,” Dinsmore said.