By Brandon Martin
Hard work pays off, and that’s a lesson that Magna Vista High School Senior Kolby Quigg is learning first-hand after being awarded the Washington Crossing Foundation Scholarship.
Commemorating the crossing of the Delaware River by George Washington, the scholarship is given out each year to students who are looking to follow in the nation’s first president’s footsteps by entering careers in government service.
Like Washington, Quigg has decided that he wants to become an officer in the military.
“I have been accepted into Virginia Military Institute,” he said. “It had been my dream college since I had figured out what I wanted to do as a career. Once I figured out that I wanted to be an officer in the United States Army, I immediately saw that Virginia Military Institute was an incredible opportunity for me.”
Quigg’s parents, Kenneth and Sharon, said that they didn’t always picture their son enjoying the military lifestyle.
“As he started attending the events and saw what all was involved and the encouragement and opportunities that Sgt. (John) Truni and Maj. (Philip) Corbo provided to him, by his second semester in high school he was ‘all in’ as he started the class and the raider team,” they said. “Currently he serves as the command leader for our state champion Raiders program.”
Ever since, Quigg said that he has been imbued with a sense of service which propels him into his future career.
“While I stand in school and I recite the Pledge of Allegiance, I think about why I am able to stand there every morning, having the freedom that other countries can only long for,” he said. “I know that the main reason that I have the freedom to recite the Pledge of Allegiance is because of the people who sacrifice their lives in order to protect that freedom.”
This sense of service probably helped Quigg as he was penning his essay, which is a requirement to be awarded the scholarship.
“To me the hardest part was the essay but that only meant that I worked on it twice as hard,” he said. “The essay was a major part of consideration for the winners, so I was most proud of it.”
Along with the essay, applicants also had to submit a recommendation from their principal or guidance counselor, transcripts and national testing scores. The recommendation letters were a source of delight, according to Quigg’s parents.
“Kolby’s recommendation letters that he received from several teachers, his school principal and a parent all gave wonderful quotes stating the great examples of the human being that he really is,” they said. “I cannot begin to say how proud as parents that we are of him and his choices that he has made in his life and we are looking forward to seeing what his future holds.”
With the closure of schools due to COVID-19, Sharon Quigg said that her son’s senior year hasn’t been the easiest, but they are still pushing forward right alongside him.
Even before schools closed, Sharon Quigg said that her son probably felt like he was in “lock-down” because of the scholarship application process.
“We started the scholarship process in December, and set up a plan with due dates and what items that were needed to fulfill these (due dates) and get them to the committees that they needed to reach,” she said. “He worked diligently even with all of his other responsibilities in getting this done.”
There are certain aspects of Kolby’s character that his parents believe helped him through the process.
“He is definitely full of life and we wouldn’t have it any other way,” they said. “He is a leader and an achiever and he encourages others to do the same. Kolby is a very caring person. If you are lucky enough to have been a person to have met him in his 17 years of life, you will always have a friend.”
“Winning the Washington Crossing Scholarship is an accomplishment that has proven to mainly myself, that my lifetime efforts to become good at sports, my education levels were above average, and even the planning of my future, have become worth everything that was put into them well beyond what can be seen by the eye,” he said.