The Joe Foss Institute, a non-profit organization that promotes patriotism, public service, integrity, and an appreciation for America’s freedoms, has selected Evan Pittman as their National Scholarship Contest winner  for 2015.

Evan’s essay, “A Proud American,  What it Means to Me,” was selected as the number one essay in the country from among more than 2500 submissions, earning a $5,000 scholarship.

“You have been selected as the 2015 Donna ‘didi’ Foss Scholarship winning recipient for your essay titled “A Proud American: What it Means to Me,” the institute said in a letter notifying Evan of the scholarship win.  “Your submission was on target with the values and the ideas of freedom the Joe Foss Institute hopes to instill in students across the nation.  We were pleased with your insight and touched by your commitment to American Patriotism.  Joe Foss would have been proud of you!”

“I wrote about my personal history,” Evan said, “and about my family and what they have done while serving this country, dating back to the days of the Continental Army and slavery.  I think the Joe Foss Institute liked that aspect of my essay.”

Joe Foss was the first American ace of World War II, and is credited with 26 aerial victories.  He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and Distinguished Flying Cross, and later became governor of South Dakota and the first commissioner of the American Football League.   The non-profit that bears his name seeks to prepare young Americans for civic engagement as voters and informed members of their community.