Fort Riley 6th-Grader, Fort Sam Houston 11th-grader Win ‘You Made the Grade’ Prizes for Academic Achievement

Ft Riley Exchange winner 2

Sixth-grader Reilani Perez received a warm welcome to Fort Riley from the Exchange: a $1,500 gift card for her academic success.

From left, Fort Riley Exchange Main Store Manager Hyon Lemons, Exchange Regional Vice President Stephanie Burns, Fort Riley General Manager Jermaine Wilson, Fort Riley Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Poulin, Fort Riley Garrison Commander Col. Michael Foote, You Made the Grade Sweepstakes winner Reilani Perez with her mom Sujeiry, dad Chief Warrant Officer 3 Aladino Perez and her three sisters. 

Reilani and her family—dad Chief Warrant Officer 3 Aladino Perez, mom Sujeiry and three sisters—recently PCS’d to Fort Riley from U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys. Shortly after their arrival, they learned that Reilani was the second-place winner in the Exchange’s You Made the Grade sweepstakes.

“Reilani loves school and is really studious,” Sujeiry said. “Her dad and I are super proud of her hard work.”

The Exchange’s You Made the Grade program rewards students in first through 12th grades for above-average academic achievement to inspire them to continue striving for excellence. Military children who maintain a B average or higher can bring their report cards each grading period to their local Exchange for a gift card and other prizes. Students can then enter the worldwide sweepstakes for a chance at a $2,000, $1,500 or $500 Exchange gift card.

Reilani has participated in the program since third grade and was randomly selected from more than 850 qualifying entries worldwide. She was one of two winners who received their prizes on July 27.

“My favorite subjects are math and English language arts,” said Reilani, who will start at Fort Riley Middle School next month. “I want to study space and maybe work for NASA.”

Garrison Commander Col. Michael Foote and Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Poulin joined Fort Riley Exchange General Manager Jermaine Wilson in presenting Reilani with her prize at the PX on July 27.

“Military children have extra challenges because of the lifestyle,” Wilson said. “Anything the Exchange can do to encourage and reward our military students, we’re honored and thrilled to do. Students like Reilani deserve recognition for their accomplishments.”

Reilani hasn’t yet decided how she’ll use her winnings, but as an avid reader, some of the prize will likely go toward buying books.

“The program is awesome and a good incentive for kids,” Sujeiry said. “They all love going to the PX and walking up to the customer service desk to show their grades and get the gift card, which they usually spend right away.”

Kamille Ouano (center) receives her $500 You Made the Grade Prize at the Fort Sam Houston Exchange. From left: Kamille’s mother Stephanie Ouano, sister Olivia Ouano, father Lt. Col David Ouano, Kamille Ouano, Kamille’s twin sister Katherine Ouano and Fort Sam Houston Exchange General Manager Eddie Devlin.

At Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, the first time was the charm for 11th-grader Kamille Ouano, who won the third place prize of $500 in the You Made the Grade sweepstakes her first time entering.

Kamille, the daughter of Army Lt. Col. David Ouano, was vacationing with her family in Guam when she found out the good news.

“We were very happy and surprised,” Kamille’s mom Stephanie said.

Kamille attends Robert G. Cole High School on post and is very studious and excels at writing and debate, according to her twin sister Katherine. She plans to study medicine.

“I hope to go to medical school and be either a pharmacist or a pathologist,” Kamille said.

Fort Sam Houston Exchange General Manager Eddie Devlin presented Kamille with her prize at the PX on July 27.

“It’s a privilege to recognize hard working military students like Kamille,” Devlin said. “The You Made the Grade program aims to encourage our incredible military children in their studies and celebrate their accomplishments.”

Kamille hasn’t yet decided how she’ll use her winnings, but they’ll likely go toward her education, perhaps in the form of school supplies.

“The You Made the Grade program is a great opportunity for students to advance in their education,” Stephanie said. “Thank you to the Exchange for having this program.”

The next You Made the Grade sweepstakes drawing will take place in December.


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