Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust

Jesse Brown Youth Memorial Scholarship

Nomination Deadline

The 2019 application period is closed. Please check back for more information regarding the 2020 program.


Service is the cornerstone of DAV’s mission of empowering veterans to lead high-quality and fulfilled lives. But we would not be able to serve our nation’s heroes without thousands of dedicated youth volunteers across the country.

From volunteering at a local Department of Veterans Affairs medical center to assisting veterans within their local communities—and everything in between—DAV youth volunteers across the country are committed to serving our ill and injured heroes.


In memory of the late Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Jesse Brown, the Disabled American Veterans has established the Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program. Brown enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1963. Two years later, while on patrol in the DaNang area of Vietnam, Brown sustained a serious injury due to a gunshot wound while engaged in combat. From that point and during the next 39 years, the lives of millions of veterans changed for the better. Mr. Brown devoted himself to the cause of building better lives for America's disabled veterans.

Brown joined the DAV professional staff in 1967 as a National Service Officer in Chicago. He moved to Washington, D.C. in 1973 to supervise the DAV's National Service Office. In 1976, he was promoted to Supervisor of the DAV National Appeals Office at the Board of Veterans Appeals. In 1981, Brown was appointed to the National Service and Legislative Headquarters staff as the Chief of Claims.

In 1983, he was named Deputy National Service Director and later served as Executive Assistant to the National Adjutant. Ultimately, Brown served the DAV as Executive Director of the National Service and Legislative Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

In January 1993, Brown was appointed by President Clinton to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Brown was so committed to the cause of veterans that he earned a new title, he was simply known as the Secretary for Veterans Affairs. In December 1996, President Clinton reappointed Brown to serve a second four-year term. Brown resigned as Secretary of Veterans Affairs in July 1997 and began his personal battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Brown died in August 2002.

The Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program encourages young volunteers to play active roles in the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service programs. It recognizes outstanding young volunteers who give of their time by awarding annual scholarships that may be used to continue their education. Annually, one outstanding applicant receives the top scholarship of $20,000 to help fund their higher education.


Candidates for the scholarships must be age 21 or younger and must have volunteered a minimum of 100 hours during the previous calendar year. All volunteer hours must be credited to the DAV. Volunteer hours accumulated under the DAV’s Local Veterans Assistance Program are also eligible for consideration. The scholarships can be used for any accredited institution of higher learning, including universities, colleges, community colleges, or vocational schools, etc. In addition, each recipient must utilize the entire scholarship prior to reaching age 25, or within six years of receiving the scholarship, whichever is later. Employees of the DAV national organization and their families are eligible for consideration for the scholarships.

It is requested all DAV Department Commanders and Voluntary Service Program Managers select a youth volunteer from your facilities for consideration of this award by completing a nomination form.

For More Information

Click here for more about the Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship.

You may also visit the DAV’s website to learn more.

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