Student Headed to St. John’s after Earning Army Scholarship

Sadé Webb holding a scholarship check infront of MetLife stadium
November 21, 2022

With a late-September telephone call came a life-altering opportunity for 17-year-old Sadé Webb—she was notified that she is the winner of a $225,000 Army Reserve Minuteman Scholarship that includes full tuition, a room-and-board allowance, book stipend, and a four-year monthly stipend.

Initially planning to attend college in the South, she opted instead to enroll at St. John’s University, which is closer to her family in Bronx, NY. Sadé thought she would pursue a career as a nurse anesthesiologist; however, her path has now changed. Thanks to the scholarship, she will use the money she had saved for college to attend medical school after she earns her bachelor’s degree.

The self-effacing senior at the St. Raymond Academy for Girls at first did not believe the news.

“My Army recruiter called while I was on my way home from school,” Sadé recalled. “I said, ‘Are you sure? Me?’ I never thought I would be blessed with such an opportunity.”

She was one of four future ROTC cadets honored at MetLife Stadium during the New York Jets game against the Buffalo Bills on November 6, part of the team’s Salute to Service weekend. She fought back tears as the crowd applauded.

“It was nerve-wracking,” Sadé said. “There were so many people there and they all were celebrating us and our accomplishments. Plus, it was on TV. I cried when they came out with the check board that had my name on it.”

Sadé, the third of six siblings, carries a 4.0 average into the final months of her high school career. She is on the executive board of the St. Raymond school council, secretary of the school’s chapter of the National Honor Society, and a distance runner on the track team.

She intends to study biology at St. John’s and live on campus. Upon graduation, she will earn the rank of second lieutenant in the Army Reserve and commit to eight years of service. Then, it will be off to medical school. 

“I always wondered if I could accomplish my dreams without my family having to go backward financially,” Sadé admitted. “When I got this opportunity, I said I might as well go ahead and try to become a doctor.”

The Minuteman Scholarship program was launched in 2015 with the goal of helping the US Army recruit highly qualified future cadets every year. Candidates must meet academic and fitness standards and be recommended by an Army Reserve Ambassador.

St. John’s was delighted to offer Sadé the opportunity to achieve her goals. “She is an outstanding student and will be a wonderful addition to the Red Storm battalion,” said James Johnson, Recruiting Officer for St. John’s ROTC program, and her Ambassador.

Sadé is already eager to meet her future cadet colleagues. “I’ve heard the climate is very welcoming at St. John’s and the newcomers to the ROTC program are made to feel very comfortable,” she said.

Military service is not new to the Webb family. Sadé’s father is a veteran of the armed forces in his native Jamaica. Both of her parents were delighted when she committed to the Army and were even more excited to hear about her plans to enlist in St. John’s ROTC program.

“My mom had wanted to join the military herself, but missed out on the opportunity,” Sadé said. “My dad thought it was great. They both trusted me to make a mature decision.”

The scholarship opportunity affects nearly everyone in Sadé’s family. The family is now better equipped to send her younger siblings to college at a time when their father is battling a serious neuromuscular condition. Living on campus in Queens, NY, it will be easier for Sadé to come home as needed. That would not have been possible if she chose to attend college in Georgia, where some extended family members live.

“I always wanted to make it easy for my family. I did not want them to struggle while I was in college,” she said. “Many things changed for the better when this scholarship presented itself.”