Fort Riley 6th Grader Wins $1,500 for Academic Achievement

Fort Riley, Kan. — Sixth-grader Reilani Perez received a warm welcome to Fort Riley from the Army & Air Force Exchange Service: a $1,500 gift card for her academic success.

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.

“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, Command Sgt. Maj. Jason Poulin and Deputy to the Garrison Commander Mr. Steve Crusinberry 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.”

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