They Made the Grade! Military Students Score $4,000 in Exchange’s Program for Academic Excellence


DALLAS – Hard work and good grades pay off! Three high-achieving military students received $4,000 in Exchange gift cards in the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s You Made the Grade worldwide sweepstakes.

Fourth-grader Brooke Eskew scored the grand prize—a $2,000 Exchange gift card presented at the Camp Foster Exchange. Fourth-grader Sydney Taliaferro received the $1,500 second-place prize at the Fort Knox Exchange, and ninth-grader Alexander Popovich was awarded the $500 third-place prize at the Camp Humphreys Exchange.

Brooke is the daughter of Gunnery Sgt. Phil Eskew. Sydney is the daughter of retired Master Sgt. Nick Taliaferro and Chief Warrant Officer Jonte’ia Taliaferro, who is assigned to Fort Knox. Alexander is the son of recently retired Air Force Master Sgt. David Popovich.

“Brooke has always been a wonderful student…full of curiosity, ambition, and very well-behaved,” her mother, Jamie said.

The students were randomly selected from more than 400 military children who entered the worldwide sweepstakes.

“I was really excited when I found out,” Sydney said. “I would like to thank my mom because I would not have won without her.”

The Exchange’s You Made the Grade program rewards students who maintain a B average or higher with a $5 PX/BX gift card each grading period during the school year.

“The You Made the Grade program definitely motivates Alexander to get good grades,” Popovich said. “He always looks forward to picking up his gift cards every quarter.”

Recipients of the $5 gift card can enter the worldwide sweepstakes for a chance to score a $2,000, $1,500, or $500 Exchange gift card. The program is an illustration of how the Exchange is committed to serving those who serve.

“The Exchange is honored to reward another group of high-achieving students in this 22nd year of the You Made the Grade program,” said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Osby, the Exchange’s senior enlisted advisor. “Brooke, Sydney, and Alexander met the challenges of military life with resiliency in their educational efforts, and their hard work has paid off.”

The next sweepstakes drawing will take place in June. Visit for more information.

Since 1895, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (Exchange) has gone where Soldiers, Airmen, Guardians, and their families go to improve the quality of their lives by providing valued goods and services at exclusive military pricing. The Exchange is the 54th-largest retailer in the United States. 100% of Exchange earnings support military communities. In the last 10 years, your Exchange benefit has provided $3.4 billion in earnings for critical military Quality-of-Life programs. The Exchange is a non-appropriated fund entity of the Department of Defense and is directed by a Board of Directors. The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize the service, valor, and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans and their families in conjunction with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. To find out more about the Exchange history and mission or to view recent press releases please visit our website at or follow us on Twitter at

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