2015 LEEP Scholarships Awarded
LEEP awards $17,000 to scholars nationwide
— By Jennifer Foley, POJ Editor
TROY, MI — Seventeen top students interested in public safety careers, including five repeat winners, were awarded $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 eleventh year, LEEP has awarded some $140,000 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 2015 LEEP Dream Scholarship program. They are:
Bradley Duck, Jr., of Battle Creek, MI. A Grand Valley State University student, he was awarded his second LEEP Dream Scholarship. He is a member of Grand Valley State Men’s Lacrosse Club. He was dual-enrolled at Kellogg Community College while in high school. He was on the football, lacrosse, wrestling, and baseball teams, was a Ski Club member and received an Academic Letter. He volunteers with the Det. Lavern Brann Memorial Golf Outing and Pennfield Rocket Football Association. He is using his $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice and plans to become a police officer like his father, a 26-year Battle Creek Police Department veteran.
Ryan Ferguson, of Battle Creek, MI. A graduate of Pennfield High School, he is the son of Battle Creek Police Sgt. Jim Martens. He attended the Michigan State Police Kiwanis Club Career Law Enforcement Academy, completed the Law Enforcement Orientation Program and received a Letter of Commendation from Battle Creek PD for assisting in a fatal car crash. He volunteered with Battle Creek PD Emergency Response Team, summer youth basketball programs and participated in Notre Dame religious retreat. He was on the 2014 All City football team and received honorable mention for All Conference football team. He plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a Criminal Justice degree at Kellogg Community College and become a Battle Creek Police Officer.
Brian Hintz, of Hart, MI. A 4.0 GPA student at Ferris State University, he is a paid-on-call Walkerville Fire Fighter. He completed Fire Fighting I & II certifications, HazMat Awareness & Operations at Oceana County Fire Academy and is certified in CPR and First Aid. His community service includes: helping build and maintain homes for the elderly; church projects; and youth group. He will use his $1,000 LEEP grant to study Criminal Justice. He plans to work as a sheriff’s deputy and part-time fire fighter or for a public safety department.
Austin Lynema, of Zeeland, MI, is a graduate of Zeeland East High School. He is a Walker and Grand Rapids Police Explorer and Holland Public Safety Department Cadet. He completed Michigan State Police Student Trooper Academy and received an Instructor’s Award at Holland Junior Police Academy. He was awarded Excellence in Achievement at Careerline Tech Center’s EMS program. He played high school baseball and was President of Health Occupation Students of America. He will use his $1,000 LEEP grant for a Criminal Justice degree at Grand Valley State University to become a police officer and later a federal agent.
Taylor Moore-Hutton, of Grosse Pointe Park, MI. A graduate of Grosse Pointe South High School and Michigan State Police American Legion Post, he was JV Team Captain of the lacrosse team. He was a lacrosse coach for junior teams, a tutor for middle and elementary school students, and received several academic awards. He plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Intelligence and Criminal Justice at Mercyhurst University. His career goal is to become a local, state or federal officer and work in National Intelligence.
Meleigha Schimmoller, of St. Charles, MI, is a Top Scholar in the Criminal Justice Program and member of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society at Delta College. She was awarded her second LEEP Dream Scholarship. She was a Law Enforcement Advisory Committee Junior Member at Saginaw Career Complex, attended Michigan State Police Youth Leadership Academy and the District of Kiwanis Michigan State Police Career Academy. She worked at the Juvenile Detention Center and Saginaw County Jail. She is using her $1,000 grant toward becoming a Michigan State Police Trooper or working for the Department of Corrections.
Megan Stacey, of Hudsonville, MI, has a 4.0 GPA at Grand Rapids Community College, where she is President of Criminal Justice Club. She was awarded her second LEEP Dream Scholarship. She is an intern at Grand Rapids PD and a decoy for Michigan Liquor Control Commission. She completed Metro High School Police Academy. She received Varsity Letters in cheer and an Academic Varsity Letter. She has donated over a gallon of blood to Michigan Blood. She plans to use her $1,000 grant to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice and become a police officer.
Lena Illig, of Anchorage, AK, received her fourth LEEP grant. She is attending University of Alaska and works at Aviation Medical Services and Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest. Ambassador of the National Guide Youth Foundation, she is an on-call volunteer with Anchorage Police Search and Rescue Team and former member of their Citizens Academy. She graduated Alaska Military Youth Academy, is a Standing Together Against Rape Crisis Hotline volunteer, and was an underage buyer for Alcohol Beverage Control Board in Anchorage. Certified in emergency medical procedures and police protocols, she is using her $1,000 grant toward a degree in Criminal Justice and to become an Alaska State Trooper and then a U.S. Marshall or FBI agent.
Jose Romo Moreno, of Tucson, AZ, is an Amphitheater High School graduate. He was a Tucson Police School Resource Officer Student Assistant, President and Treasurer of Avid Club, Amphi Avid Male Student Role Model in 2013 and 2014 and he took AP honors courses. He coached Amphi and Western Little Leagues and volunteered with Special Olympics through Tucson Police. He participated in police ride-alongs and organized a Christmas Toy Drive. He will use his $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice at Brown Mackie College. He plans to become a Pima County Corrections Officer and then a police officer or federal agent.
Stephanie Fidomski, of Antelope, CA, is a 4.0 GPA Center High School graduate, ranked 11th in her class of over 300. The Sacramento Police Cadet received 9-1-1 dispatch training. A multiple Renaissance Award winner, she was Key Club Leader, a member of California Scholarship Federation Club, Anime Club, a church food bank volunteer, and on the cross country and JV softball teams. She plans to use her $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a Sociology degree at Sacramento State University. She plans to become a police detective or FBI agent.
Tyler Madden, of Louisville, KY, is a graduate of Pleasure Ridge Park High School. He has a 4.0 GPA in the College of Justice & Safety at Eastern Kentucky University, where he’s on the Dean’s List and President’s List. He was Team Captain of his high school varsity football team and received awards for: Team Captain, Defensive Player of the Year, Defensive Lineman of the Year, and Greater Louisville Football Coaches Association All-District Teams. He helped collect clothing and held yard sales to raise money for the needy and delivered items to the families. He plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a degree in Occupational Safety with a minor in Criminal Justice.
Charles (Alex) DeHaven, of Frederick, MD, is a Tuscarora High School graduate and Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Explorer. DeHaven was Class Captain in his Criminal Justice I course and Class Leader in his Criminal Justice II class. He completed the Criminal Justice Program at Frederick County Schools Career & Technology Center (CTC). He was Captain of his high school football team, he volunteered as Tuscarora Football Kids Camp Counselor, received a Varsity Letter and JV and Varsity Coaches Award for football and made the 2014 All Academic Football Team. He plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice at Mount St. Mary’s University.
Benjamin Reed, of Joliet, MT, is a Montana State University student. A member of the Joliet Volunteer Fire Department, he earned various firefighting certifications and FEMA courses. An active volunteer with his church, he was President and Vice President of Carbon County Shooting Sports Club, President of Carbon County Archery Club, President and Treasurer of Rockville Ramblers 4H Club and a ranch hand at World West Sire Service. He plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a degree in Fire Science and Business Administration. His career goal is to become a Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
Philip Grella, of Glen Cove, NY, is a Glen Cove High School graduate, who comes from a long line of fire fighters. His father is First Assistant Chief of Glen Cove Volunteer Fire Department and his grandfather and great-grandfather served as Chiefs of their fire departments. A former Glenwood Junior Cops Captain and Lieutenant, he is Captain of Glen Cove Fire Department Explorer Post. With nearly 300 hours of community service, he served on the Student Athlete Leadership Team, Ski Club, varsity football and lacrosse, Ballistix Travel Lacrosse, All Conference and All Academic Lacrosse. He will use his $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a Criminal Justice degree at New York Institute of Technology. He plans to become a federal agent.
Evan Guin, of Mount Juliet, TN, received a degree in Advanced EMT from Volunteer State Community College. Guin works for Life Care EMS in Nashville as an Advanced EMT Specialist and Volunteer Fire Fighter for Mt. Juliet Fire Department. He’s a Mt. Juliet Fire Explorer graduate and received certificates in Basic Firefighting and Firefighting I, Live Burn, and Introduction to Fire and Emergency Services. He was a member of HOSA-Future Health Professionals for five years and on wrestling teams for nine years, finishing high fourth in his AAU wrestling career. He plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a degree in Paramedics at Ball State Community College and become a fire fighter and EMT, following in his older brother’s footsteps.
Austin Kahil, of Canyon Lake, TX, is a Canyon Lake High School graduate. He received All-District Academic Honors and Achievement and All-State Academic Achievement awards. He earned three Varsity Letters, was the Varsity Football Captain and Varsity Track Captain. He coached and mentored pee wee football players at Canyon Lake Recreation Center. A Bible Boot Camp and Back Yard Bible Camp Counselor through Hill Country Bible Church, he volunteered at Canyon City Animal Hospital and Comal County Sheriff’s Department doing maintenance. He works in security at WhiteWater Amphitheater and is a member of several community service and religious groups. He plans to use his $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a degree in Criminal Justice and Wildlife Management at East Texas Baptist University.
Austin Holcomb, of Cheyenne, WY, graduated Laramie County Community College with a Criminal Justice degree. She graduated from Cheyenne Police Department’s Citizen Police Academy, went on police ride-alongs and attended physical and K9 training. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and Advanced Citizens Police Academy. She played high school basketball and volleyball and competitive softball. She was a coaches’ assistant for Cheyenne summer basketball and girls softball. She plans to use her $1,000 LEEP grant to pursue a Criminal Justice bachelor’s degree with a double minor in environmental and natural resources and political science at University of Wyoming. She plans to become a Front Range area police officer.
To view published articles on the 2015 LEEP Dream Scholarship winners, click on the links below:
Criminal justice student receives fourth $1,000 scholarship – Green & Gold News
Stephanie Fidomski Antelope News
Austin Kahil New Braunfels Herald Zeitung