LEEP awards record number of public safety students
Twenty-one top students interested in public safety careers received $1,000 college scholarships to encourage their pursuit of law enforcement/public safety careers by the professional public safety officers of the Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP).
In its ninth year, LEEP has awarded some $102,000 in Dream scholarships to students showing a demonstrated interest in public service/law enforcement careers. The non-profit public safety group’s scholarship program is made possible by a growing list of national supporters. Students from 11 states were honored in the 2013 LEEP Dream Scholarship program including seven from Michigan:
Cory Ellis, of Interlochen, MI. A Lake Superior State University student, he is a Grand Traverse Metro Firefighter and EMT and Grand Traverse County Emergency Telecommunicator. He is a former Grand Traverse Safety Officer and East Bay EMT. The Ingleside High School graduate was on the baseball team, a science tutor/mentor, vice president of his church youth group, and an Eagle Scout. He plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a degree in Fire Science and a career as a fire chief or fire department administrator.
Ethan Groothuis, of Grand Haven, MI. A Grand Haven High School graduate, he was Varsity Basketball Team Captain, received an Academic All-State Basketball Award, and was on the soccer and golf teams. He was a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes Club and Honor Roll. He volunteered with YMCA community basketball clinics, No More Sidelines basketball for disabled children, Mobile Food Pantry, and was a Spring Lake Wesleyan Sunday School Leader. The YMCA Youth Basketball Referee plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice at Hope College.
Wade Heidbreder, of Onsted, MI. The Onsted High School graduate has been a Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office Explorer since 2011. He was Varsity Baseball Team Captain, receiving All-Lenawee County Athletic Conference First Team Award and Honorable Mention, and Lenawee County Athletic Association Scholar-Athlete Award. He was a member of Quiz Bowl, Teen Court jury, and Honor Society. He volunteered in Youth Group Highway Cleanup and as 5K Run Traffic Director. He plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant at Grand Valley State University to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice.
Sarah Lighthart, of Niles, MI, is a graduate of Lake Michigan College. She is the daughter of a Berrien County Sheriff’s Deputy and granddaughter of a retired Berrien County Undersheriff. The Niles Senior High School graduate was in marching band, Phi Theta Kappa, Key Club, tennis team, Spanish Club and Rotary Club. She was Business Professionals of America Historian and Treasurer and a 2012 Presidential Election Inspector. She volunteered with Berrien County Motor Unit Sheriff’s Run and Hospice at Home Parade details. She plans to use her $1,000 LEEP grant to study Biochemistry with a concentration in Forensic Science at Cedar Crest College. Her career goal is to become a federal law enforcement officer.
Kyle Reinink, of Holland, MI, is a graduate of Holland High School where he served as Co-Captain of the football and baseball teams. He volunteered with Holland Public Safety Department’s charity softball event and golf outing to raise money for K-9 units. The National Honors Society member was on the swim team, umpired Holland Little League, and was a Holland Youth Football Skill Clinic instructor and referee. He plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant at Grand Valley State University to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice and become a police officer.
Devon Reppert, of Reading, MI, is a graduate of Reading High School. He was in the Criminal Justice program at Branch Area Careers Center. He was president of Skills USA Youth Club, a member of National Honors Society and Varsity Club. A Varsity Football player, he volunteered with Junior Pro Basketball Tourney and attended BALL Leadership Conference and Big 8 Sportsmanship/Leadership Conference. He plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant to study Criminal Justice at Lake Superior State University. His career goal is to become a Michigan State Trooper.
Carol Zunker, of Troy, MI, is a graduate of Troy High School. She participated in American Legion Student Trooper Program. She was on the softball team and involved in Environmental Activist Club. She completed a criminal law class and received an Outstanding Performance Award in her forensics class in high school. She plans to use her $1,000 LEEP grant to study Criminal Justice at Oakland Community College and transfer to Ferris State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice
Lena Illig of Anchorage, AK, is LEEP’s only scholarship winner awarded two years in a row. She is a member of Alaska Peace Officers Association and Women Police in Alaska and former member of UAA Justice Club. A member of Anchorage Police Department Citizens Academy, she graduated Alaska Military Youth Academy and received a Spirit of Youth Recognition award for working a rape crisis hotline. She works at Aviation Medical Services of Alaska and volunteered with Anchorage Police Search and Rescue Team and Anchorage Animal Control. She plans to use her $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Alaska.
Adrianna Flores of Lancaster, CA, graduated Lancaster High School with a 3.9 GPA. She was secretary and president of Future Business Leaders of America. She participated in intramural tennis, Associated Student Body and Graphics Club. She volunteered over 200 hours at Antelope Valley Hospital. As a member of Heroes Club, she helped feed the homeless every month. She plans to use her $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a science and nursing degree at San Diego State University. Her career goal is to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
Kenny Trabanino of Menlo Park, CA, is a graduate of Junipero Serra High School. He was a Student Neighborhood Association Program (SNAP) Officer at San Luis Obispo Police Department and a student services officer at Riekes Center. A youth camp leader, he fostered dogs in need of a home for the San Luis Obispo Humane Society. He ran track, participated in a co-ed soccer league, and managed and participated in a flag football league. He plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant to attend San Jose State University and become a law enforcement officer.
Danielle DuCasse of Punta Gorda, FL, is a Charlotte High School graduate. A Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (NJROTC) Cadet for the past four years, she is a former member of the NJROTC Drill Team and Technology Student Association. She has received medals from Marine Corps League for loyalty and service and Charlotte High School Fishtail Award for student spirit. She plans to use her $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Tampa. Her career goal is to become a U.S. Marshall or State Trooper.
Charles Duron of Jacksonville, FL, completed a degree in Criminal Justice at the University of North Florida. He is Quarter-Master of American Red Cross Life Saving Corps (ARCULSC) and was ARCULSC Master Guard and Commodore. The Jacksonville Ocean Beach Rescue employee completed a U.S. Coast Guard internship in the Intelligence Department. A 96th Civil Engineering Group General Clerk, he is a volunteer First Responder. He plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant to attend North East Florida Criminal Justice Center at Florida State College of Jacksonville.
Justin Ravelo of Miami, FL, is a TERRA Environmental Research Institute graduate. He volunteered over 200 hours with Miami Dade Police Department. He was the founding member and president of Tri-M Music Honors Society, TERRA Chorus historian and lead male vocalist, and TERRA Mock Trial Team lead attorney. He served on TERRA Yearbook Committee and TERRA Parent Teacher Student Association, volunteering over 200 hours. He plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant to attend Florida State University.
Jordan Hogan of Mountain Home, ID, graduated Mountain Home High School with a 3.93 GPA. The Mountain Home Police Department Cadet Sergeant volunteered 500 hours from grades 9-12. He participated in two youth drug and alcohol use leadership summits and created an anonymous peer survey regarding youth drug and alcohol use. The Student Council Treasurer was Vice President and Chapter Leader of Mountain Home DeMolay, a civic awareness and leadership skills organization. He plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice at Boise State University.
Amanda Tierney of South Paris, ME, received a degree in Criminal Justice from Central Maine Community College. The Tri Town Rescue and North East Mobile Health Services EMT is a Department of Homeland Security, ICE Investigations intern. She received the Golden Badge Award from Law Enforcement Tech Program, is International Association of Arson Investigators Maine Chapter Board Director, and past Paris Fire Department Junior Firefighter. She plans to use her $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a degree in Justice Studies with a concentration in Terrorism and Homeland Security at Southern New Hampshire University.
Savannah Woodcock of Lebanon, ME, is a graduate of Nobel High School. A New Hampshire Police Explorer Cadet since 2009, she is now a Lieutenant. She has performed over 400 hours of community service as a Police Explorer and has received many awards including the Leadership Award, Explorer of the Year and Silver E Award, the highest award given to an Explorer. She works as a lifeguard and counselor at day camp and was on the basketball team and in Tae Kwon Do. She plans to use her $1,000 LEEP grant to attend Southern Maine Community College.
Mark Wright of Catonsville, MD, is a graduate of Howard County Youth Police Academy and Western School of Technology. He is a member of the Criminal Justice Student Association and ASIS International, a security organization. He was a member of Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), and is a member of United States Chess Federation, Rites of Passage mentor program, and NASA Inspire space program. He plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant to study Criminal Justice at Stevenson University.
Zachary Scott-Grunwald of Pineville, MO, graduated McDonald County High School with a 3.91 GPA. He was Senior Class Treasurer, Spanish Club President, Science Club Treasurer, Drill Class Regulation and Arms Commander, and Drill Class Exhibition Commander. He was a member of Missouri Boys State, Academic Team, Jazz Band, Marching Band, JROTC Drill and Ceremony class, Beta Chi Pi, Student Council, Debate Team and Character Ed. He plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant to attend Missouri State University where he plans to enroll in ROTC. His career goal is to be in the Army military police.
Kayla Malloch of Franklin, NH, is a Franklin High School graduate. The Captain of Tilton Police Explorers completed hundreds of community service hours, volunteering with New Hampshire Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Runs and Franklin Fire Explorers. She was a Junior Ranger and assisted with boat and swimming safety during summer camps. The Student Council member helped found Franklin Youth Initiative, a youth drug task force. She plans to use her $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice at New Hampshire Technical Institute. Her career goal is to become a police officer or EMT.
Emily Schroff of Corvallis, OR, graduated Corvallis High School. A Corvallis Police Cadet since 2010, she was promoted to Sergeant. She participated in Cops and Robbers citizen’s academy and Cops and Chops community policing program. The Varsity Lacrosse Team Captain was a member of 4-H Rifle Club with NRA qualifications. She volunteered in Polar Plunge for Special Olympics and National Night Out; evacuated citizens during 2012 flood relief; and acted as McGruff the police dog. She plans to use her $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a Sociology degree with a Criminal Justice option at Oregon State University.
Jameson Varnado of Lampasas, TX, graduated Lampasas High School with a 4.87 GPA. He is a graduate of Distinguished Student Plan, with 26 dual credit hours. The football and baseball team player received an All Academic Varsity Football award. He participated in University Interscholastic League Science Competition and volunteers with Lampasas County Museum, Vision Lampasas downtown enhancement, 2013 Project Graduation, and Lampasas Chamber of Commerce. He plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice at Texas State University and attend Texas State Trooper’s Academy.