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    Three Military Students Honored with $4,000 in Prizes in Exchange’s You Made the Grade Program

    Three Military Students Honored with $4,000 in Prizes in Exchange’s You Made the Grade Program

    Photo By Marisa Conner | Three hardworking military children won $4,000 through the Army & Air Force Exchange...... read more read more



    Story by Marisa Conner 

    Army & Air Force Exchange Service HQ

    DALLAS – Three military children are heading back to school with an extra boost of academic pride as winners of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s You Made the Grade worldwide sweepstakes.

    Mateo Rojas, a rising 11th-grader, was named the grand-prize winner and received a $2,000 gift card from the Travis Air Force Base Exchange. Mateo’s father is a retired Coast Guard captain who served 26 years. The second-place winner is from Fort Hood, and sixth-grader Josiah Ko won the third-place prize—a $500 Exchange gift card—which he received in a presentation at the Camp Humphreys Exchange. Josiah’s father, Maj. David Ko, is a chaplaincy resource manager for Headquarters Company at Camp Humphreys.

    “I was shocked,” said Mateo, who attended Castro Valley High School in the Bay area before the family relocated to San Diego this summer. “Shocked and very happy.”

    The winners were selected in a worldwide drawing of more than 800 military children who were eligible to enter by maintaining a B average in school.

    “You Made the Grade program is a fantastic program, and my children really enjoy getting their $5 gift cards each quarter, as a reward for their diligence in their studies,” said Jenny Ko, Josiah’s mother. “Josiah winning the $500 third-place prize was a wonderful bonus. We're so grateful. I hope that other children will be motivated to do their best in school—it will really pay off.”

    The You Made the Grade program rewards students in first through 12th grade for above-average academic achievement to inspire them to continue striving for excellence. Military children who maintain a B average higher can bring their report cards each grading period to their local Exchange for a $5 gift card. Students can enter the worldwide sweepstakes for a chance at a $2,000, $1,500 or $500 Exchange gift card. The program is one example of how the Exchange provides ongoing support to the military community in ways no other retailer can.

    “Military kids have to deal with unique situations, such as frequent moves,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Osby, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “On top of that, kids have been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been an extra challenge for students. The Exchange is please to recognize military students for their hard work and academic excellence.”

    The next sweepstakes drawing will take place in December. Shoppers can visit customer service at their local Exchange or for more information.

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    Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 53rd-largest retailer in the United States. Its earnings provided $2.1 billion in dividends to support military morale, welfare and recreation programs over the last 10 years. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize the service, valor and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans and their families in conjunction with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at


    Media Notes:

    For more information or to schedule an interview with an Exchange representative please contact Marisa Conner at 214-312-5111 or

    Follow the Exchange:
    Instagram: @shopmyexchange



    Date Taken: 08.24.2021
    Date Posted: 08.24.2021 12:12
    Story ID: 403808
    Location: DALLAS, TX, US 

    Web Views: 112
    Downloads: 0