Daughter of fallen soldier celebrated for academic accomplishments during all-expense paid trip to D.C.

Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 6:56 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The daughter of a fallen soldier who was chosen for a nationwide scholarship from a nonprofit in which she gets to choose any college to attend at no cost, just returned from an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., where she was celebrated for her accomplishments.

No Greater Sacrifice, a nonprofit dedicated to investing in the children of the nation’s fallen and wounded service members, chose 2022 Copperas Cove High School graduate Danielle Devins for the scholarship weeks ago.

Danielle and her mom, Ann Scotti, just returned from the nation’s capital for the four-day trip to celebrate the honor.

“It was an amazing experience that I will never forget,” Danielle told KWTX. “Visiting our nation’s capital and then to the Arlington National Cemetery really brought into perspective how much the people of their nation sacrifice for the individuals of this country and how blessed I am to have the ability to have the opportunities I have, like being able to attend college assisted by NGS.”

Danielle’s dad, Staff Sergeant Horace Lamont Devins, who served at Fort Hood, passed away in 2014 as a result of multiple sclerosis linked to a condition that was a result of his 15 years of military service in the U.S. Army.

Ann is also an army veteran.

She said the No Greater Sacrifice rolled out the red carpet for the 22 winners.

“It was just such a great experience to be there,” the proud mother beamed.

Ann said the trip included fancy dinners, sightseeing, a 3-hour dinner cruise down the Potomac River and a final day of getting an extra helping hand when it comes to planning for college.

“When we arrived in Washington D.C., this foundation and what made it unique,  is they explained to us you know not just ‘here’s your scholarship good luck in college,” Ann said. “It was ‘we also are going to be there for you.  We are going to be your guide.  We are going to help you through the first semester, the first year, the second year, the third year and graduation to achieve your dreams and your goals.”

Ann said the winners from all across the country included multiple valedictorians and Danielle’s success in the classroom was no exception.  She finished with a GPA of 4.78 and ranked third in her class of more than 450 graduates.

She was also a leader outside of the classroom.

Danielle held multiple leadership positions in school clubs and organizations, participated in athletics, and volunteered more than 300 hours in her community.

She says when she learned she was receiving the scholarship over a zoom call, she broke down and cried.

“My family and I have been through so much after my dad’s passing and I have worked so hard, in and out of school, to achieve everything that I have today,” she said. “That is why I see this scholarship not only as an award but also as an acknowledgment of all my hard work, my high academic achievements and my perseverance through adversity.”

Danielle has decided to put her scholarship to use at UT, which is valued at around $120,000.

She found out while in D.C., the foundation is also giving her an additional $15,000 for housing in Austin for the first semester.

“I will forever be grateful for this opportunity to achieve my dreams,” Danielle said.

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