SDI’s 2017 Scholarship Receipients Are An Impressive Class

  • SDI Admin

SDI’s 2017 Scholarship Recipients
Sonoran Desert Institute offers three annual scholarships to its programs. And each year, three recipients are chosen to receive them. Here are the highlights of this year’s three recipients.

SDI/EANGUS Scholarship Recipient, Adam Purtell
Adam Purtell has just enrolled at SDI and will be starting his Advanced Gunsmithing Certificate program in November 2017. He would eventually like to enroll in the associate’s degree program. Adam first heard about Sonoran Desert Institute from his friends/co-workers and decided to do some research on his own. He liked what he saw. Adam served 22 years in the Air Force and later enlisted in the National Guard, where he has been for the last 11 years, and works as a weapons inspector. He is also a police officer in New Jersey, is the force’s weapons maintenance instructor, and is a licensed NRA instructor.

By taking courses at SDI, Adam is seeking to increase both his credibility in his already impressive resume as well as in his knowledge as a weapons instructor, and is also seeking to specialize in the AR-15 platform. With his current status as a maintenance instructor and inspector, he felt that adding gunsmithing to his knowledge base could only enhance the work that he currently does. Adam conveyed that it is one thing to inspect a rifle and another thing altogether to know the mechanisms inside and how to troubleshoot those mechanisms. As with any true professional, Adam’s primary goal is to help his fellow National Guardsmen as well as his fellow law enforcement professionals. SDI is sure that he will accomplish this goal and is excited to have him as a student.

Paul Jackson First Responder Scholarship Recipient, Warren Scotter
Warren Scotter first investigated Sonoran Desert Institute’s programs online after it was recommended to him by friends. He was impressed by the amount of detail presented on the SDI site and made up his mind to enroll. His enrollment process was made a bit easier by Admissions Advisor Vanessa Boyer, who recommended that he apply for the Paul Jackson First Responder Scholarship. Warren was very thankful for her help in that process and stated that he thought it was very easy to navigate.
Warren called his enrollment at SDI “an answer to prayer.” He is currently an EMT/firefighter in Washington and will be starting on his associate degree in September. Warren is an active outdoorsman and hunter. He has been reloading for five years and hopes to enrich his education in firearms science so that he can do more work and build up business. He already has a terrific foundation, as his background includes many years of professional woodworking.

Warren is a proud family man and a great example of the quality of students that attend SDI. It will be exciting to see how he progresses through SDI’s associate degree program.

SGT Michael Beckerman Memorial Scholarship Recipient, Andrew Howdyshell
Andrew Howdyshell heard good things about Sonoran Desert Institute from friends, and upon further investigation, liked what he saw. Andrew is diligent and did a lot of research on SDI, comparing it with other schools before enrolling. He has served in the Army for 10 years and is currently transferring out of service. He is set to begin his associate degree program in August and will be adding to an impressive resume with an associate of science in Collision Repair as well as a bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security.
Andrew was grateful to have received this scholarship so that he can use his GI bill to fund his son’s education instead of his own. As a testament to his inspirational qualities, Andrew’s son will be following in his dad’s footsteps by attending a school for fire science.

Andrew was primarily impressed with the level of knowledge and experience possessed by SDI’s faculty and staff. Equally impressive are the levels of experience and knowledge Andrew will be adding to as he works on his associate’s degree. Andrew will be updating the school on his progress as he goes through the program.

The selection process for this year’s crop of students was stacked with quality individuals, and so choosing the recipients was extremely difficult. Sonoran Desert Institute is proud to have such a terrific group receive these scholarships and represent the school as they further their education. If you are curious about SDI’s scholarship programs, please view the enrollment pages at

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