Thirty young scholarly students of Fort Leonard Wood won a back-to-school shopping spree provided by  Academy Sports + Outdoors in Rolla and USO of Missouri, Inc.

The bright young academics were ecstatic at the chance to grab school supplies in a time when school-supply lists are often daunting and include dozens of specific and expensive items. 

The back-to-school shopping spree offered an aura that was reminiscent of a time when a trip to the store to pick out the latest design of sneakers was a gratifying experience marking the end of summer and the beginning of the upcoming school year.

The students were chosen based on submissions they sent to the USO of Missouri, which consisted of a detailed piece on what the experience of going back to school meant to them. The selected students then had the opportunity to shop for $100 worth of any school supplies they desired, coming at a time when prices for school-related supplies have risen excessively.

Academy Sports+ Outdoors and the USO of Missouri collaborated in creating the enjoyable experience after recognizing the need for students to have access to supplies that aren’t easily attainable for each school year.

“In April we provided 150 Fort Leonard Wood families with $100 donations from Academy Sports to use at the store, so Academy Sports asked if we could do it again to help the community because of how expensive it is to shop for school supplies,” said Kelly Brownfield, of USO Missouri. 

USO Missouri provides services to more than 200,000 military personnel and their families annually, and Brownfield's organization worked with Academy Sports + Outdoors to offer the hardworking students almost free reign in obtaining their school necessities. 

Plus, the organization provided free food from a food truck in St. Louis that came over for the event, serving every deserving student along with their families an extra treat, reflecting the character of both Rolla's Academy Sports + Outdoors and the USO of Missouri.