Young Marines Master Gunnery Sergeant Sophia Marie Righthouse of San Diego, California, received the Jimmy Trimble Scholarship from the American Veterans Center.
Righthouse will escort WWII veterans to Guam and Iwo Jima next spring for the Reunion of Honor which, in 2021, is the 76th anniversary of the battles. She will join nine other youth members of the Young Marines as they travel to the island of Iwo Jima which is accessible only one day a year.
“Being selected for the Jimmy Trimble Scholarship is an amazing honor,” Righthouse said. “I hope to carry the knowledge from the experiences back home to share with other Young Marines. I believe being selected for the scholarship means I have a duty to share the history and stories I will hear during the trips. The scholarship also will allow me to further my education.”
Righthouse is a member of the Miramar Young Marines located in San Diego, California, under the command of Bret Righthouse. She joined the Young Marines when she was eight years old and today, she is 17 years old and a senior at Westview High School in San Diego.
The award is presented annually to two Young Marines who exemplify the fine qualities of James “Jimmy” Trimble III. Trimble was a star athlete who passed up the opportunity to play professional baseball to first serve his country in the Marines. He died at age 19 on March 1, 1945, on Iwo Jima.
“Jimmy Trimble gave up professional baseball and despite many other offers, he remained focused on serving his country and remaining in combat,” said Col William P. Davis USMC (Ret), national executive director and CEO of the Young Marines. “We are grateful to the American Veterans Center for keeping his spirit alive and for allowing the Young Marines to play a key role in that effort.”
Righthouse is an Honor Graduate from Recruit Training, both Junior and Senior Leadership School, and Advanced Leadership School. She has received the Distinguished Service, Personal Commendation, Meritorious Service, and Life-Saving 2nd degree ribbon. In addition, she has attended FEMA, the National Symposium, and the Public Affairs course.
“The best part about being a Young Marine is the ability to connect with like-minded youth from all across the nation,” she said. “Being able to motivate, inspire, and encourage each other throughout our careers in the Young Marines is amazing. Another great aspect of Young Marines is meeting youth at different events and being able to reconnect at events years later.”
Outside the Young Marines, Righthouse has amassed many prestigious honors for example, in 2018, San Diego County and City proclaimed “Sophia M Righthouse Day” for her quick actions in noticing a residential building fire and alerting residents to the danger.
In addition, she is a member of the National Honor Society and the California Scholarship Federation. Righthouse received the Volunteer Service Award for her 1,359 hours of service in the community.
More honors include:
- Outstanding Academic Excellence, Presidential Award
- Outstanding Lifesaving Unit Citation from the San Diego Fire Department (2018)
- City of San Diego Youth of the Year presented by Councilman Chris Cate for “Valuing our Veterans”
- Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) Cadet Lieutenant. She currently holds the billet of Operations Officer the Westview NJROTC Unit.
- Burn Institute’s Spirit of Courage Award
- American Red Cross Real Heroes Youth Award
- Women of Influence 2019 Finalist
- Women Elevate San Diego Award
- She was a speaker at the Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium.
Righthouse plans on making a career in the military as an Operations officer in Surface Warfare or Intelligence. After retiring from the military, she hopes to continue in a job in government or a position that will benefit the community.
She is the daughter of Susan and Bret Righthouse. Her grandfather, Jerry Righthouse, who served in the Vietnam War, was very inspirational telling Sophia stories of bravery, perseverance, and commitment to country.
About the Young Marines
The Young Marines is a national non-profit 501c (3) youth education and service program for boys and girls, age eight through the completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral, and physical development of its members. The program focuses on teaching the values of leadership, teamwork, and self-discipline, so its members can live and promote a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.
Since the Young Marines’ humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to over 235 units with 8,000 youth and 2,500 adult volunteers in 40 states, the District of Columbia, Japan and affiliates in a host of other countries.
For more information, visit the official website at: https://www.YoungMarines.com.