Young Marines Master Sgt. Dev R. Patel

Local Young Marine Wins Scholarship, Trip to Guam and Iwo Jima

by | Dec 13, 2016 | Schools & Education

By Chris Jones. Photo provided by GR-PR

The Young Marines, a national non-profit youth education and service program for boys and girls, honored Young Marines Master Sgt. Dev R. Patel, 17, of Spotsylvania, Virginia, with the James ‘Jimmie’ Trimble Scholarship from the American Veterans Center.

In addition to the $1,000 monetary prize, Patel will travel to Guam and Iwo Jima next spring for the Reunion of Honor which, in 2017, is the 72nd anniversary of the battles. He will join nine other youth members of the Young Marines as they escort WWII veterans back to the island of Iwo Jima, which is open just one day a year.

“This scholarship is the culmination of all my efforts in the past six years,” Patel said. “I am very excited to take part in this historic and revered tradition and honoring the veterans of the [Guam and Iwo Jima] battles. The honor is one I heartily accept, and I am prepared to have the experience of a lifetime alongside fellow Young Marines.”

Bill Davis, national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines, said that Patel exemplifies the qualities that the program looks for in its Young Marine leaders.

“Young Marines Master Sgt. Patel is an outstanding Young Marine,” Davis said. “He will be a great representative and ambassador of our program, as he aids the veterans who we travel with to Guam and Iwo Jima next year.”

Patel, a senior at Massaponax High School in Spotsylvania, Virginia, and a member of the Lance Corporal Caleb Powers Young Marines unit located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, is ranked first in his class of 500 students. He joined the Young Marines in sixth grade at age 11, and credits the program for the relationships he’s cultivated.

“The Young Marines has given me some of my best friends,” Patel said. “I have traveled the country with these comrades and attended leadership schools with them. These experiences are one of a kind, and only the Young Marines can create these emotional bonds.”

Academically, Patel has received dozens of awards and honors, among them are the Award for High Honors from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, the Academic Excellence Award in the Commonwealth Governor’s School, and the regional top score in the National Latin Exam. In addition, he is a first-degree Black Belt.

After graduation, he would like to attend the University of Virginia, Johns Hopkins University or an Ivy League institution, and pursue a medical career in the military studying medicine with an emphasis on neurology while participating in the Reserve Officer Training Corps.

“My love of serving others was bolstered by the Young Marines and the emphasis on community service,” Patel said. “As a result, I have spent more than 200 hours volunteering at a local hospital where I solidified my career path, all thanks to the Young Marines. I appreciate the Young Marine program for everything it has taught me. The mentors, the schools and the environment have defined who I am as a person, and I am extremely thankful that I found the program.”

Subscribe To Daily News Updates

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news from The Free Press

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This