Today, as it is already past midnight EST, is our final day to offer the internship opportunity. We have received quite a list of interested fans and many of them are more than qualified to be considered for this opportunity. This has made our decision one of great difficulty and continues to keep the judges up at night, but we staff members don't get much sleep anyway.
We have narrowed the running down to theTop 7 and I am going to list them here, on this update/blog posting. This still could change; we are still accepting interested entries until 7 pm EST. At which time, we will stop the flood of entries and begin our final deliberations. So, to be clear, we are listing our Top 7 as of March 23rd. However, we are still accepting new entries and thus a new entry could change the course of the list and we could very well have a late and surprising finish, so stay tuned and spread the word to anyone you feel is crazy errr...I mean interested enough to apply. (Just a JOKE, please no hate mail, I was merely kidding, we, the staff at the Graffiti of War, don't believe that our intern candidates are crazy at all, otherwise we would be crazy too, and that is just plain crazy!)
Here is the Top SE7EN Candidates as of March 23rd 2011 (no particular order all candidates listed have an equal chance of winning)
1.) Joe McLaughlin: A Chicago native and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Joe has been an early and staunch supporter of the Graffiti of War Project & Foundation. His military service record is impeccable and is a deciding factor in placing him in the top 7.
2.) 1SG (Ret.) Bruce L. Reges: A retired 1SG and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom serving in the Diyala Province during the surge. He was also attached to the State Department as an Education expert and assisted in humanitarian efforts for Iraqi children. His exceptional military service and background as an Art Professor at Ferris State College is a deciding factor in placing him in the top 7.
3.) Ken Martin: CEO and Founder of USA Cheerleaders, Ken has extensive photography experience and brings additional networking and project ideas to include a joint calendar effort while in country. His photography and networking potential is a deciding factor in placing him in the top 7.
4.) Andrea C. Sandoval: Former Sergeant First Class and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom awarded the Bronze Star. She owns her own photo and design business (Sandoval/Hansen Photo & Design) and has extensive photography experience including combat photography. Her exceptional military record and photography experience is a deciding factor in placing her in the top 7.
5.) DeOndre J. Bonds: Veteran and former combat medic he is currently serving our nation as a ROTC candidate for the Georgia National Guard and attends school full time. His background as a combat medic and military service is a deciding factor in placing him in the top 7.
6.) Inge Bakker: Civilian and a native of Amsterdam, Netherlands, she is currently an expert in administrative and coordination operations. In addition she is very active in US Troops Support Organizations such as "Tell Them Thanks". Her networking potential and coordination and administrative skills are a deciding factor in placing her in the top 7.
7.) Stephen Quarles: Currently a Staff Sergeant in the US Army. He is a veteran of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He has an exceptional military record and has extensive combat experience. His exemplary military qualifications are a deciding factor in placing him in the top 7.
Well, that is our list, and what a list it is. We are honored to have such amazing and exceptional candidates for our choosing. We would like to thank all of those who applied and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors; however, we had to make cuts to get to this point. That being said, this decision will be made very carefully, taking into account a wide range of abilities, skills and overall benefits that each candidate brings to the table. In addition, although this slot was advertised as an "unpaid" internship opportunity, we will be offering a 2% stake in the project to the winner of this campaign. Now, this might be 2% of $1,000 or if the book does really, really well, then it could be 2% of $1 million. It all depends of the success of this project. Take it as it stands, we have no idea what the final outcome of the book will be and we will be donating a large portion of the proceeds which the 2% will come out after we make the donation, warfighter's first, then the staff gets paid if and only if there is any left.
As I stated before, we will be continuing to offer this opportunity to new candidates until 7 pm EST. At which we will close the opportunity and then begin our deliberations. We will make our final decision at 9 pm EST. Thank you all for your willingness to support this project, to assist in our need for an intern/partner and we wish you all good luck for, well, for today!
Jaeson "Doc" Parsons
Director, Project Operations
The Graffiti of War Project