Cadet Josephine Rios, the Corps Commander for the Warren HS JROTC, was awarded the first annual SPC Dane R. Balcon Scholarship last Monday during the school’s Awards Night.
Dane R. Balcon was a member of the Air Force JROTC program at Warren HS during its inception in 2002. He was an active member of the armed drill team and was an award winner at the Air Force Nationals Competition in 2003. SPC Balcon pursued and achieved his dream of becoming a soldier in the United States Army, but tragically, his life was cut short on Sept. 5, 2007 to an improvised explosive device while deployed in Iraq. He completed his mission doing what he loved – serving this great nation.
A scholarship in his name was created by his mother, Dr. Carla Sizer, to honor his legacy. This scholarship will only be awarded to Senior AS4 cadets, assigned to the Warren HS AFJROTC program, who must maintain a “B” average or above. The scholarship is valued at $1,000; however this year, the Warren AFJROTC staff decided to match that amount and provide an additional $1,000 to the inaugural winner.
“We are privileged that Dane’s mother would take the time to create an annual scholarship to benefit our cadets,” said Capt. Kevin Keaney, Warren’s Senior Aerospace Science Instructor. “We are honored that she shared his journey with us and allowed our unit to be a part of his legacy.”
“She told me Dane was proud to be a part of the first Corps of Cadets at Earl Warren High School,” he added.
Pictured is Cadet Josephine Rios of Warren HS, the first recipient of the SPC Dane R. Balcon Scholarship.