Navy awards Medford student $180,000 scholarship

Medford, Ore. — A student from North Medford High School is standing out across the nation, receiving a $180,000 scholarship for her future education.

Jovanna Salvador-McColly says she’s planning to use the scholarship to major in neuroscience or biology at the University of San Diego while working to become a naval officer.

“Jovanna is probably one of the most driven, hardworking students I’ve ever had,” North Medford High School counselor Staci Fisher said.

The Navy selects 50 students across the nation for a $180,000 scholarship to any school with a naval program.

Jovanna Salvador-McColly from North Medford High is one of the chosen recipients.

“I’m pretty excited. It’s a great opportunity and I’m just really thankful and happy for it to be able to do it and be able to serve my country,” Jovanna said.

Knowing her great-grandpa survived Pearl Harbor while saving his entire crew and ship, she hopes to become a Physician’s Assistant Officer for the Navy.

“In the military, you know, they teach us not about ‘me, myself, and I’ and ‘me leading them’ and ‘me leading my troops’. It’s about — I lead for them. I’m doing my job for my troops. I do it because I want to help them,” Jovanna said.

Helping others is one of the reasons Jovanna was chosen.

“You have to have good grades. You have to — they like to see volunteering, strong academics, they like to see athleticism. There was a physical test she had to complete. The application is pretty lengthy,” explained Alyssa McColly, Jovanna’s mother, who says dedication runs in the family.

Alyssa raised Jovanna by herself while working and going to school.

“I’d be highlighting and making notes and she would whip out a bunch of paper and do the same thing like she was doing the same thing so it was really cute,” remembered Alyssa.

Now that work is paying off.

“We’ve never had a female in our family be in the military, so that’s something new that our family is swallowing. But Jojo has always been somebody who wants to do something new, wants to do something never done before. She breaks the mold,” Alyssa said.

Alyssa takes no credit and says she owes everything to God for using her in Jovanna’s life.

Jovanna will be receiving her scholarship at the Medford School Board meeting on January 23rd.

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