University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee



USF Office of Veteran Success supports military connected students with $10,000 in scholarships

By Georgia Jackson, University Communications and Marketing

The USF Office of Veteran Success awarded $10,000 in scholarships this spring to six military connected students on the Sarasota-Manatee campus. The scholarships, which are administered by the office, include the Sarasota Military Officers Foundation Scholarship, the James E. Carla Scholarship for Military Veterans, the Warren H. Metzner Scholarship for Military Families and the Joyce Rubin PAMFF Veterans Scholarship.

“The support our community partners provide toward our scholarships helps our students in minimizing emotional, mental and financial stress and allows them to concentrate on their academics so they can be more successful while attending USF,” said Carlos Moreira, director of campus engagement for veteran success and alumni affairs. “It is an honor to assist our military connected students.”

Moreira recently secured additional funding for the office — $12,000 check from the Military Officers Association of Sarasota Foundation — to continue supporting the military student population at USF.

Nafi S. Cunningham

Left to right: Brett Kemker, Nafi S. Cunningham and Carlos Moreira

“It really means a lot that somebody is investing in me,” said Nafi S. Cunningham, who returned to USF to pursue an MBA 20 years after earning a bachelor’s degree from USF in 2003. “The MBA, coupled with my project management certification, will further my professional development and help me to achieve my goal of becoming an effective leader.”

A recipient of the Warran H. Metzner Scholarship for Military Families, Cunningham said the scholarship will reduce the amount of student loans required to complete the program and pursue her dream of serving others in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Other recipients include Amy Johnson-Garcia, who served in the U.S. Army from 2014 to 2020 and is currently pursuing a degree in psychology; April N. Edwards, who served in the U.S. Army from 1993 to 2000 and is now enrolled in the bachelor of social work program at USF Sarasota-Manatee; Carter Chalmers, who served in the U.S. Army from 2019 to 2022; Taylore R. Kanatzar, a reservist in the U.S. Coast Guard; and William G. Burns, who served as a communication sergeant in the 82nd Airborne Division.

“This scholarship not only eases the financial burden of pursuing my education, but also serves as a testament to the value and sacrifices of veterans in our society,” said Burns, recipient of the Joyce Rubin PAMFF Veterans Scholarship. “As a veteran transitioning from military service to academic pursuits, this scholarship provides invaluable assistance as I work toward my educational and career goals.”

The Office of Veterans Success at USF Sarasota-Manatee provides military veteran and dependent students with the support they need to excel academically and professionally.

To learn more about veteran benefits and scholarships, explore the website or contact Carlos Moreira at

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