Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust

Jesse Brown Youth Memorial Scholarship

Nomination Deadline

The 2015 application period is closed. Please check back for more information regarding the 2016 program.


2014’s top honor went to Shannon Mathew of Coral Springs, FL., who has volunteered 585 hours over the span of four years at her local VA medical center.

“When I started here, I didn’t want to stop,” Mathew said of her volunteer work with the local VA facility. “Each day, I wanted to wake up early. I wanted to go and just help out.”


In memory of the late Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Jesse Brown, the Disabled American Veterans has established the Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program. Mr. Brown enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1963. Two years later, while on patrol in the DaNang area of Vietnam, Mr. Brown sustained a serious injury due to a gunshot wound while engaged in combat. From that point and over the next 39 years, the lives of millions of veterans changed for the better. Mr. Brown devoted himself to the cause of building better lives for America's disabled veterans.

Mr. Brown joined the Disabled American Veterans professional staff in 1967 as a National Service Officer in Chicago, Il. He moved to Washington, DC in 1973 to supervise the DAV's National Service Office. In 1976, he was promoted to Supervisor of the DAV National Appeals Office at the Board of Veterans Appeals. In 1981, Jesse was appointed to the National Service and Legislative Headquarters staff as the Chief of Claims.

In 1983, he was named Deputy National Service Director and later served as Executive Assistant to the National Adjutant. Ultimately, Mr. Brown served the DAV as Executive Director of the National Service and Legislative Headquarters in Washington, DC.

In January 1993, Mr. Brown was appointed by President Clinton to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Mr. Brown was so committed to the cause of veterans that he earned a new title, he was simply known as the Secretary for Veterans Affairs. In December 1996, President Clinton reappointed Mr. Brown to serve a second four-year term. Mr. Brown resigned as Secretary of Veterans Affairs in July 1997 and began his personal battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Jesse died in August 2002.

The Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program encourages young volunteers to play active roles in the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) programs. It recognizes outstanding young volunteers who give of their time by awarding annual scholarships that may be used to continue their education. The Disabled American Veterans has awarded 87 scholarships worth $578,000 since the inception of the Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program in 2000.


Candidates for the scholarships must be age 21 or younger and must have volunteered a minimum of 100 hours during the previous calendar year. All volunteer hours must be credited to the Disabled American Veterans. Volunteer hours accumulated under the DAV’s Local Veterans Assistance Program (LVAP) are also eligible for consideration. The scholarships can be used for any accredited institution of higher learning, including universities, colleges, community colleges, or vocational schools, etc. In addition, each recipient must utilize the entire scholarship prior to reaching age 25, or within six years of receiving the scholarship, whichever is later. Employees of the DAV national organization and their families are eligible for consideration for the scholarships.

It is requested all DAV Department Commanders and Voluntary Service Program Managers select a youth volunteer from your facilities for consideration of this award by completing a nomination form.

For More Information

Click here for more about the Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship.

You may also visit the DAV’s website to learn more.

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