ESA And Chapters Honor Students Of Police, Firefighters
Children of firefighters from California and Michigan were awarded $10,000 in scholarships by the Electronic Security Association (ESA) through the ESA Youth Scholarship Program.
Altogether, ESA and its participating Chartered State Associations awarded $47,500 in scholarships to 38 winners from more than 900 applications. The program has awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships to children of police officers and firefighters since its inception in 1996.
Brian Roxas of La Crescenta was the first place winner of the ESA Youth Scholarship Program and received a $7,500 scholarship for his outstanding essay and scholastic achievements. Brian will graduate from Crescenta Valley High School with a 4.2 GPA. He is also the editor-in-chief of his school’s newspaper and represented Crescent Valley High School at the Scholastic Press Association’s Journalism Workshop at Columbia University in New York. Brian will attend Cornell University where he plans to double major in physics and computer science before attending law school to study constitutional law in hopes of becoming a judge.
Brian’s stepfather, Alberto Hugo, is a firefighter in Los Angeles County. In his essay Brian writes this of his stepfather, “His example to me taught me that if there’s a need and there’s something I can do to meet that need, I shouldn’t hesitate. Watching him at work…even when he is off-duty…made me determined that I want to spend the rest of my life, helping my community as well.”
After hearing he had been awarded first place, Brian said explained how grateful he was for the award and how those around him disserved much of the credit. “I couldn’t have gotten to where I am now if it weren’t for the sacrifices my mom made for me and my siblings, or for the support I received from my family, friends, and teachers, or for my stepfather teaching me what it means to be truly selfless,” he said. “So I feel like the CAA [California Alarm Association] and ESA are not just honoring me with this award, but also honoring the commitment and guidance that all of these people have given me.”
In addition to winning the national award, Brian first had to compete against 235 students in California to win the California Alarm Association Youth Scholarship Program before being eligible for the national awards. Brian took first place in his region and first overall to receive a $2,500 scholarship from the local chapter.
Kirstyn Hein of Pinckney, MI was awarded second place and received a $2,500 scholarship. She will graduate seventh in her class of 314 students from Pinckney High School where she was selected as the “Best and Brightest” student, class of 2011. She is a 12-year member of the Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan where she received the Girl Scout Gold Award for organizing a makeover for the Connection Youth Shelter. For the project she collected more than $6,500 in donated materials and coordinated seven projects with 35 volunteers and 500 hours of community service.
Kirstyn’s father, Carl Hein, is a member of the Ann Arbor Fire Department. In her essay Kirstyn writes, “From him, I’ve learned dedication, generosity, courage, how to teach, how to lead, and how to use my skills to the absolute best of my abilities. I love wearing my AAFD sweatshirt – not only is it comfortable, I get to tell people about the fire my dad recently fought or the emergency rescue crew he worked with. While all of my friends are going to Prom in limos and Chevy GTs, I’ll show up in a fire truck. To do that at Senior Prom in front of all my classmates- now that’s influence!”
Kirstyn was also grateful for the opportunity the award gave her to honor her father. “Thank you so, so much,” she said after being informed she had won second place. “The ESA scholarship program meant a lot to me, helped me show my appreciation for my dad and how much he rocks. It’s a really great scholarship.”
Like Brian, Kirstyn, too, had to win a preliminary round before being eligible for the national awards. As a student that resides in a state without a participating ESA chapter, Kirstyn applied directly to ESA along with 100 other students from around the country. She was selected as the ESA national nominee to compete with each of the 15 participating chapter winners and received $1,000 for that distinction. This marks the first time in the 15 years of the Youth Scholarship Program that a student residing in a state without an ESA chapter has received one of the national awards.
“Each year in these submissions we see the effect that a committed parent has on his or her child. This year’s competition was the closest in history. Every student we reviewed was more than deserving of this award. Unfortunately, we can only award two scholarships and I can’t say that we’ve ever had two better candidates than these,” said Dave Simon, ESA Scholarship Taskforce chairman. “The essays, along with the quality of each applicant’s background, show how police and fire officials across the country are positive role models for the next generation. ESA is proud to reward the next generation of students who will help provide solutions in the years ahead for a more safe and secure world.”
Both ESA and its Chartered Chapter Associations participate in the program. The first place winner of each state’s program is automatically considered for the national ESA Youth Scholarship Program awards. This year, 15 Chartered Chapter Associations participated, an increase of one chapter over last year. Each state typically awards $1,000 or more in scholarships. Students that reside in a state without an ESA chapter or in a state where the chapter does not participate in the program apply directly to ESA. The Scholarship Taskforce chooses one student as the national nominee to compete with each of the state winners. This student receives a $1,000 scholarship for his/her accomplishment.
To be eligible for the scholarship, students must have a parent or guardian who is an active duty police officer or firefighter, be a graduating high school senior and have been accepted to a college or university. Students’ applications are scored based on a combination of GPA, ACT/SAT test scores, an essay and extracurricular activity.