SDI Unveils Two New Scholarships for Firearms Technology Degrees

Sonoran Desert Institute (SDI)
Sonoran Desert Institute (SDI)
Sonoran Desert Institute
Sonoran Desert Institute

Scottsdale, AZ -( Sonoran Desert Institute (SDI), an industry leader in providing accredited and accelerated online learning, is proud to announce two new academic scholarships to assist active duty military personnel, veterans, and first responders in achieving Firearms Technology degrees.

The SGT Michael Beckerman Memorial Scholarship and the Paul Jackson First Responder Scholarship are full scholarships, providing full tuition and fees.

The SGT Michael Beckerman Memorial Scholarship is specifically reserved for individuals who currently serve in the armed forces or are veterans of military service and who are in good standing with his/her branch of service and/or who have received an Honorable Discharge. The Paul Jackson First Responder Scholarship is for individuals who are currently serving or are retired from the armed forces or law enforcement, or who are currently serving as or are retired firefighters or emergency medical technicians.

“We are very excited to provide these new scholarship opportunities to the men and women currently serving in our military, our honored veterans, and the first responders who put their lives on the line in communities across the country,” said SDI Executive Director of Strategic Development Wes LeMay. “The training, experience, and professionalism of our military personnel and first responders make them uniquely qualified for the firearms industry, so we are pleased to provide these new funding opportunities through which they can achieve their academic and professional goals.”

The two scholarships are named in honor of two men who served their country with honor and distinction. SGT Beckerman served two tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and one tour in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While serving his country on these deployments, SGT Beckerman enrolled in Sonoran Desert Institute and worked toward continuing his education. On Dec. 31, 2010, he made the ultimate sacrifice: SGT Beckerman was killed in action (KIA) in Howz-e Madad, Afghanistan. He is survived by his daughter, Brianna. Paul Jackson served in Bravo Company, 501st BN, 101st Airborne Division during World War II. As a paratrooper, Jackson made the jump into Normandy during Operation Overlord, the jump into Holland during Operation Market Garden, and was wounded on Jan. 12, 1945 in Bastogne, Belgium.

Both annual scholarships provide full tuition and fees for SDI’s Associate of Science in Firearms Technology degree program to two recipients, one in the fall semester and one in the spring. Applications must be submitted by midnight (MST) on December 1 for the spring award and by midnight (MST) on June 1 for the fall award. For eligibility requirements, please visit

Sonoran Desert Institute is an accredited online school providing undergraduate degree and certificate programs in firearms technology. Sonoran Desert Institute offers a 60 semester-credit Associate of Science degree in Firearms Technology program and it is one of the most complete firearms educational programs of its kind. The program prepares students for personal development and/or employment in the custom gun trade, from entry-level employees to small business owners. Students learn about custom firearms, stocks, rifles, handguns, shotguns, metal refinishing, ballistics, metal work and engraving, and business principles necessary to become a gunsmith. For students looking to hone their gunsmithing skills, learn the techniques needed to operate a gunsmithing business, gain a valuable credential or expand their hobby into a career, SDI also offers a 32 semester-credit Advanced Gunsmithing Certificate.

Sonoran Desert Institute offers high quality, rigorous educational programs with the convenience and flexibility of online delivery. The school has been an innovator since its inception and is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). SDI educational programs are designed predominantly for adult learners, based on principles and practices of active self-learning. Certain SDI programs are also approved for use of the G.I. Bill® Education Program, Federal Student Aid (FSA) and other VA benefits.

To learn more about on the highly acclaimed online learning programs at Sonoran Desert Institute, visit or call 800.336.8939.

About Sonoran Desert Institute (SDI):

Located in Scottsdale, Ariz., Sonoran Desert Institute is an accredited online school providing undergraduate degree and certificate programs in firearms technology. SDI is dedicated to offering affordable, premium, distance-delivered career education that provides a labor market advantage to its graduates.

For more information on Sonoran Desert Institute, call 800.336.8939 or visit