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Youth Scholarship Program for Children of First Responders Needs Your Support

Youth Scholarship Program for Children of First Responders Needs Your Support

Dear Security Industry Professionals:

Being in the security industry, we work intimately with and appreciate the contribution that police, firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs offer to our communities. Over the years as we have work closely with public safety professionals, we have wanted to find ways to support them outside of our respective professions. The Youth Scholarship Program gives us the chance to honor their families and their futures and the future of Florida’s wonderful communities.

This year, we were able to give $4000 to three bright and talented young ladies. We want to do even more next year. Please help us by making your contribution of $100, $500 or $1000– or any value that you can give– today.

Sincerely,

Steve Paley, Past President and Rick Seymour, Vice President and Chair of the Youth Scholarship Committee

Donate now via PayPal, or contact administrator@esa-fl.org to make your contribution.

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In 1996, the Electronic Security Association launched the Youth Scholarship Program. The program was created to promote goodwill among the electronic life safety and security industry and police and fire officers by providing college scholarship awards to their deserving sons or daughters.

Through the Youth Scholarship Program, thousands of dollars have been given to students attending higher education institutions across our country. In fact, more than $457,000 has been given out by the participating states and ESA.
Today, ESA and participating Chartered Chapter Associations are involved in the scholarship program. The first-place winner of each state’s program is automatically considered for the national ESA Youth Scholarship Program awards.
Students who reside in a participating state must enter their state-level scholarship program to be considered for the national awards. Students who reside in a state without an ESA chapter or in a non-participating state should submit their applications directly to ESA. ESA will select one of these students as the national nominee to compete with the state winners. This student will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship.

Each state program awards scholarships at various levels; check with your participating ESA chapter for information on specific state award levels. ESA awards a $7,500 scholarship to the first-place winner, and $2,500 to the second-place winner.

Awards are based on a combination of academic achievement, national test scores, extracurricular participation and the essay. In addition to completing the application and submitting the appropriate documentation, each student must write an essay explaining “What it means to me to have my parent or guardian involved in securing our community.”


$2,500 scholarship awarded to Pinellas County Sheriff Lieutenant's daughter

 

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the scholarship program, which is funded by ESA Florida members and supports children of first responders. Recipients Mackenzie Nalven, Nicole Fertig, and Brooke Soloway will receive scholarships toward their college education. 

From Palm Harbor Florida, Ms. Nalven will receive $2,500 to attend Stetson University. Ms. Fertig from Lake Worth Florida will receive $1,000 to continue her education at Florida Atlantic University, and Ms. Soloway from Weston, Florida will receive $500 to attend Florida State. As the first place winner, Ms. Nalven will also be entered into the national ESA award program for an opportunity to win up to $8,500 in scholarships. 

As children of law enforcement officers, this year’s three recipients know what it is like to live each day with a mix of pride of their fathers’ profession and fear for their fathers’ lives. They also know the important role first responders play in protecting their communities, and are inspired by their fathers’ careers. “We are proud to support the education of these young women,” said Roy Pollack, president of ESA Florida. “It’s the least we can do to give back to the families of the officers that have done so much to protect our communities.”

With a 3.98 unweighted GPA, Ms. Nalven is second in her graduating class. She credits her father’s career in the police department as helping to shape her character. “My father has taught me to follow the rules,” she said. “And I am extremely grateful for that. I live a disciplined life, and I am who I am today because my father is a law enforcement officer.” Ms. Nalven also believes her father’s career has helped her family grow closer. “The highlight of my day has always been sharing dinner with my parents.”

ESA of Florida secretary and board member, Chuck Bellissimo, coordinated a surprise presentation for Ms. Nalven on Friday, June 10 at the Pinellas County Sheriff’s office where her father, Lt. Lawrence Nalven, works. “Although her attendance and community performance qualified her to win this award, the words in her essay were very moving,” said Bellissimo. 

 

Already attending Florida Atlantic University through the early admission program, Ms. Fertig is one of the top students at her school. Although she and her family now live in Florida, her life was changed when she was three years old and living in New York State. On September 11, 2001, Ms. Fertig realized the significance of her father’s profession. Upon receiving her award, Ms. Fertig expressed her appreciation in a thank you video.

ESA of Florida vice president, Rick Seymour presented Ms. Soloway with her check at the Palm Beach County Sherriff’s office where her father, Alan Soloway, works. “It was my pleasure to present Ms. Soloway with her check. She is a remarkable young woman and greatly deserving of this scholarship,” said Seymour.

 


 

 $4000 to Children of First Responders

On behalf of the Board of Directors of ESA of Florida, we want to introduce you to three remarkable young women who are beginning their college careers this fall with support from ESA of Florida. Skylar, Cassidy and Casey have never met and live in different areas of the State– but there are a few things that unite them. All three students will attend the University of Florida, were raised by a first responder, and are high achievers. Please read about them and what they have to say about bring raised by a First Responder.

Thank you to every member of ESA of Florida for supporting the Youth Scholarship Program through your dues, your extra contributions, and your participation in our fundraising efforts. And please don’t put your checkbooks away, because we’ll be starting to raise funds for next year’s gifts.

Sincerely,
Steve Paley, President and Rick Seymour, Vice President and Chairman of the Youth Scholarship Program of ESA of Florida 

 

Sanibel Island, FL– Ms. Casey Jackson will begin her studies at the University of Florida this fall with a $500 gift from the members of the Electronic Security Association of Florida. Ms. Jackson is a high-achieving honor roll student, dedicated community volunteer, and daughter of Lt. Chris Jackson who is a veteran of the Sanibel Island Fire Department. ESA of Florida Board Director and President of Executive Electronics of Southwest Florida Captain John Minerva presented the scholarship gift on June 15th at the Sanibel Island Fire Department.

“Some of my fondest childhood memories are standing up in front of the classroom with him [on Career Day], grinning from ear to ear while practically drowning in his bunker jacket,” Ms. Jackson wrote in her application. It is clear that Ms. Jackson was raised with the values of a first responder; she has served over 250 volunteer hours while working 20 hours per week, playing varsity basketball, and earning the highest of SAT scores.

In the search for scholarship opportunities, ESA of Florida’s Youth Scholarship Program was one of very few dedicated to children of public safety professionals.

“I was accepted into the University of Florida with the intention of attending one of the best physical therapy programs in the country. My ultimate goal is to work with veterans, specifically amputees,” Ms. Jackson wrote.

“We also gave her a nice sound system with speakers, maybe she’ll take it to the beach and have a little fun once in a while,” said Mr. Minerva. “We’re proud to help young people like Ms. Jackson and we’re proud of our Youth Scholarship Program; every dollar counts and we hope to keep raising more to support talented, generous young people like her.”


Sanford, FL– Ms. Skylar Bauman will begin her studies at the University of Florida this fall with a $1000 gift from the members of the Electronic Security Association of Florida. Ms. Bauman is a high-achieving honor roll student, dedicated community volunteer, and daughter of Lt. Matt Hall who is with the Sanford Fire Department. ESA of Florida Board Director and President of Commercial Systems Group Dino DeRose presented the scholarship gift on May 28th at the Sanford Fire Department.

“Through every late night call to put out unreasonably ignited dumpsters to birthing babies, he has invested in me,” Ms. Bauman wrote in her application. It is clear that Ms. Bauman was raised with the values of a first responder; her contributions to society are numerous and benefit many areas of the community. In addition to school-based clubs such as National Honor Society, Drama Club, Yearbook Copy Editor and Girls State Senate, Skylar has offered her time and her knowledge to American Cancer Society, Special Olympics, various senior centers and faith-based groups.

In her search for scholarship opportunities, ESA of Florida’s Youth Scholarship Program was one of only three organizations Ms. Bauman found that was dedicated to children of public safety professionals.

“Having a parent working to secure the community… means I have not just one but an entire shift and clan of role models who are looking out for my, the community’s, and the future’s best interests,” Ms. Bauman wrote.

“Our company motto is ‘Protecting People and Facilities.’ Being at the firehouse to deliver the award, I realized how close our company mission is to that of a first responder,” said Mr. DeRose. “We’re proud to help young people like Ms. Bauman and we’re proud of our Youth Scholarship Program.”

Sarasota, FL– Ms. Cassidy Dossin will begin her studies in Biology at the University of Florida this fall with a $2500 gift from members of the Electronic Security Association of Florida.

Ms. Dossin is a high-achieving honor roll student, dedicated community volunteer, and daughter of Ernest Dossin who is firefighter and paramedic for Sarasota County. Steve Paley, President of ESA of Florida and Rapid Security Solutions presented the scholarship gift on June 19th at Sarasota Fire Department Station 10.

“Having a firefighter dad is better than any superhero… We played dress up to be like him when we were little, and I still strive to follow his example of service today,” Ms. Dossin wrote in her application. Her contributions to society are numerous and benefit many areas of the community. In addition to serving as FFA President, Ms. Dossin has volunteered at the Florida State Fair, with Meals on Wheels, and at the Hillsboro County Animal Shelter. Ms. Dossin has also earned awards throughout her high school years such as Brandon High School Athena Young Woman of Promise Award, first place in Florida Dairy Judging, and an FFA Gold Award at the National Convention.

ESA of Florida’s Youth Scholarship Program is one few programs dedicated to solely to the children of public safety professionals.

“I have learned from my dad’s example; if you enjoy something, and you want it, you have to work for it. There are no shortcuts… I work hard to meet the responsibilities of those who depend on me” Ms. Dossin wrote.

“We’re proud to give financial support to the children of first responders” said Mr. Paley. “Electronic Security Association of Florida created the the Youth Scholarship Program to invest in young people like Ms. Dossin to honor the investment her parents have made in the community. It’s clear that this young lady was raised with the values of community service and we wish her the best in her biology studies.”

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