Phoenix Firebird Soars! Named Recipient of the Army National ROTC Scholarship


Samuel Ferguson

Earlier in the school year, senior Fabian Patino commuted to the University of Illinois at Chicago to take a physical training test that would later qualify him for a full-tuition scholarship at a few colleges and universities in the city. In February, Patino was notified that out of thousands of applicants, he was one of the recipients for the national Army ROTC scholarship.

Patino described the PT test as a rigorous exam in which many of the applicants found it difficult to do.

“The PT test uses the Army one-minute scale. Therefore, all applicants had to do one minute of push-ups, sit-ups, and afterwards a one-mile run. What makes the test so competitive are the standards that are upheld. The minimum for push-ups and sit-ups are forty and the minimum time for the one mile run is under eight minutes,” said Patino.

Although rigorous standards were implemented, Patino noted how he exceeded the minimum standards due to his prior preparation over the last few years.

“In my sophomore year of high school I joined the Raider Team with full intentions of taking the Army PT test my senior year. I spent two years doing Army based exercises that would perfectly prepare me for the exam,” said Patino.

His dedication to prepare for the exam led him to become a recipient. In addition, his core motives to apply also led him to his success in winning the full-tuition scholarship.

“The biggest reason for me applying was the money. No other schools would give me a full ride scholarship plus a monthly stipend, so I saw this as a great opportunity to fully take advantage of,” said Patino.

With this scholarship, Patino has the choice to apply it to fund his education for either Loyola University, Depaul University, or UIC. However, it seems that he has his heart set on utilizing the scholarship to attend Loyola University.

“I’m leaning towards Loyola because it’s a bit more expensive, so my scholarship will be able to pay for the cost of attendance. Also, it is concentrated on the field I want to look into which is the medical field with a specific focus on exercise science,” said Patino.

Obtaining the ROTC scholarship has put Patino in a great position to strive towards his future career path. Nevertheless, the financial aspect of the scholarship alleviates many of the pecuniary worries that he once had in regards to attending college.

“I was relieved when I found out I won the scholarship because a huge burden of figuring out how to pay for college was lifted from my shoulders. Coming from a low income family of immigrants, as well as being a first generation college student, coming out of my pockets for college and going into debt wasn’t an option for me. That’s something that my family refused to see me do. If I couldn’t afford to go to college I simply wasn’t going to attend. I’m really relieved that I will be getting paid to go to school and that I won’t have any debt to put back onto my family in later years,”said Patino.

Being a recipient of the Army ROTC scholarship will offer Patino a lot of  experience and a plethora of opportunities as he matriculates and progresses through college next fall. He will also have a guaranteed job right after he graduates from the college of his choice. This scholarship opportunity will put him in a position where he can network and build connections with individuals of elite status. All in all, this opportunity has set him up for success, allowing him to have a foot in the door in reference to being debt free and seeking future employment opportunities such as working in the Army as a medic. Congratulations Fabian Patino on receiving the National Army ROTC scholarship!