Scholarship Spotlight: Daniel, Stephen, Karina, and Jason Bertolino
By Shannon Zangas
To honor the sacrifice of Stephen (Tony), Daniel, Karina and Jason Bertolino’s father, United States Army Sergeant Stephen Bertolino, the children were awarded a Freedom Alliance Scholarship. Tony, Daniel and Karina are attending Brigham Young University and Jason will soon be graduating from Vista Murrieta High School.
Living a charitable life of service as his father did, Tony, the eldest of the four, served on a Spanish speaking missionary trip. Tony says that “the scholarship means that there are beautiful and charitable individuals in the U.S. that appreciate the sacrifice my father made in Iraq and want to help make my burdens lighter”. Tony is a noted artist and musician, and is studying a rigorous curriculum at Brigham Young University-Provo where he is pursuing a major in the Marketing Management Program in the university’s Marriott School of Management and is also pursuing a Visual Art minor. Tony now owns a part-time business painting large commissioned artwork for various clients including local businesses, and stated, “I am so very grateful to Freedom Alliance and their amazing donors. You all have helped in making my future goals more attainable”.
Daniel Bertolino also followed in his father and brother’s altruistic footsteps by serving as a missionary in South Korea. His yearning to help others stems from the example his father proved to be for him: “the loss of my father has made me more sympathetic to others’ trials, struggles and grief. I want to obtain my education and gain employment in an area where I can help others who face challenges in life”. Daniel is involved with his church and community and teaches swim lessons during the summers. He is also pursuing a Marketing major at Brigham Young University – Idaho and just finished working as a marketing intern for AOL in New York City. Daniel expressed that the Freedom Alliance scholarship, “tells me that my father’s sacrifice has not been forgotten.”
Karina is the most recent scholarship recipient of the siblings, and is working to become a social worker and therapist as a result of her father’s service and sacrifice overseas; like her older brothers, Karina will be attending Brigham Young University. “I know how hard losses can be, and I want to pursue a career where I can help those in need of comfort… and dedicate my life to helping others be happy”. She has an exceptional amount of community service hours and her ambitions exemplify her character.
The youngest, Jason, is a senior in high school and is the soccer league’s star record-setting goal keeper; he will graduate in the spring of 2015 and will also be supported by the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund as his brothers and sister have.
The siblings lost their father, U. S. Army Sergeant Stephen Bertolino, in November of 2003 when gunmen opened fire on his convoy in Haditha, Iraq. He has received the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and Purple Heart. He was committed to both his family and his country and lived serving both to his fullest ability. His efforts are greatly respected and will never be forgotten.
To learn more about Freedom Alliance or to apply for a scholarship, visit www.fascholarship.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org