Wednesday May 27, 2009 - In a small ceremony at the Elysian Park Police Academy Rock Garden, the Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation (LAPMF) held its annual 2009 Merit- Based College Scholarship Awards. The LAPMF awarded six college-bound dependents of LAPD employees with a $5,000 scholarship that is renewed for three additional years.
“We are very happy to be a part of your future”, said Al Atkins, Executive Director of the LAPMF. “It’s our 10th year doing this. The Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation has granted more than $900,000 to talented young people. The scholarship is based on academic accomplishments and extracurricular activities.”
The proud students were reminded of the special connection they now share with the fallen officers of the Los Angeles Police Department. “The money we have is for our fallen heroes, to take care of them and their families in time of need”, said Joe Connolly, Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation Director and Chairperson of the Scholarship Committee. “We don’t do anything without thinking of them. Starting today, this is your connection with them.”
This year the selection committee received 76 applications, which they narrowed down to 19 finalists and 8 semi-finalists. Finalists had a grade point average between 4.2 and 4.8, and had significant accomplishments, inside and outside the classroom.
The 2009 Merit-Based College Scholarship recipients are:
John Downey, son of Police Officer II John Downey. John was scholastically ranked 12th of 661 seniors, and has been accepted at UCLA. He has been involved with the California Scholarship Federation, promoting academic success, while leading his football team in practices, off-season training and games, as their Captain. He has numerous awards in football, such as MVP in 2006, Most Outstanding Linebacker in 2007, Defensive MVP in 2009, all while maintaining academic excellence as a CSF Lifetime Member.
Michael Edwards, son of Police Officer III Wayne Edwards, formerly a professional major league pitcher for the Chicago White Sox. Michael will be attending Cal Tech. Michael has been an Academic Letter Holder and California Scholarship Federation Member for seven semesters, while maintaining a 4.0 GPA, ending his high school career with a 4.57 GPA.
Gregory Kurzhals, son of Sergeant II Kevin Kurzhals. Gregory is ranked 2 out of 527 seniors and will attend the University of Pennsylvania. He is a College Board National AP Scholar, based on his receipt of a 5 on eight Advanced Placement tests and has a GPA of 4.8. Gregory has been awarded the National Merit Scholarship Finalist in 2009 and has been involved in the California Scholarship Federation, the Hart Academic Team and as a delegate for the American Legion California Boys. He also scored a perfect 800 on the history portion of the SAT’s.
Tiana Moore is the daughter of Management Analyst II Anita Shorten-Moore. Tiana will be attending Stanford University where she plans to major in Political Science. She has been involved with community service in feeding the homeless at a local church in Washington D.C., where she was a political page. She also actively campaigned for Barack Obama in the San Fernando Valley, which produced a passion for politics and an interest in pursuing public service. Tiana won awards as an AP Scholar, was on the Principal’s Honor List and a member of the California Scholarship Federation. She graduated with a 4.277 GPA.
Luke Peters is the son of Captain Jon Peters. Luke is realizing his dream and will be attending the University of Notre Dame. He scored a perfect score of 800 on the written portion of the SAT’s, and graduated with a 4.8 GPA. Luke has received numerous academic awards, such as the National Merit Scholar Program Letter of Commendation, the AP Scholar with Distinction, the President’s Award for Educational Achievement and the Viking Valor Award. He has also worked with several worthwhile organizations such as the Key Club, the Circle of Friends, Science Olympiad and Safe School Ambassadors.
Jordan Willis is the daughter of Detective III James Willis. She plans to attend the University of California at Berkeley. Jordan was ranked 4 out of 273 in her class, has a GPA of 4.128, and has a strong record of community service. She has won awards for Outstanding Achievement in the French Language and was named Senior Class Student Most Likely To Succeed. Jordan is also a member of the California Scholastic Federation and the Big Brothers/ Big Sisters Club. While maintaining her busy school responsibilities, Jordan has tutored other students in Chemistry and German.