ESA Celebrates 2017 Youth Scholarship Program Winners

Each year ESA awards scholarships to high-achieving children of first responders during a special ceremony held during the Electronic Security Expo.

ESA Celebrates 2017 Youth Scholarship Program Winners

Jessica Hill, the 2017 ESA Youth Scholarship Program winner, is pictured with her father, Andrew Hill, a police captain in Fairfax County, Va.

IRVING, Texas — The Electronic Security Association (ESA) has awarded $12,500 in scholarship funds to a pair of students from Virginia and New Jersey as a part of the association’s annual Youth Scholarship Program, sponsored by COPS Monitoring and DMP.

Each year ESA awards the scholarships to high-achieving children of first responders during a special ceremony held during the Electronic Security Expo (ESX). This yesar, Jessica Hill of Bristow, Va., received top honors with a scholarship of $9,000 and Michelle Bello of Pennsauken, N.J., won $3,500 for second place.

Since its creation in 1996, the ESA Youth Scholarship Program, ESA and its affiliated chartered chapters have donated more than $621,000 in scholarship funds to children of police officers and firefighters.

ESA President Angela White says providing scholarships to help pay for the college educations of children of first responders is one way the industry can thank them for their public service.

“The police officers and firefighters that protect and serve our communities are true heroes and deserve our unwavering gratitude — these men and women put their lives on the line every day and give so much to their communities,” White says. “ESA, on behalf of the electronic security industry, is pleased to support these incredible families.”

Hill is a 2017 graduate of Patriots High School in Nokesville, Va. Her academic achievements, essay, community service and extracurricular activities earned her first place in the 2017 ESA Youth Scholarship Program.

Along with excelling in school, she achieved a 4.54 GPA, Hill participates in numerous extracurricular activities and fulfills multiple volunteer roles. For example, she Jessica has volunteered with the Adopt a Teacher program where she assisted in the special education classroom as well as the Children’s Space Camp and Children’s Science Center.

Jessica’s father, Andrew Hill, is a police captain in Fairfax County, Va., nd was the inspiration behind her essay. As a part of their entries, each applicant was required to write an essay entitled, “What it means to me to have my parent or guardian involved in securing our community.” Hill wrote about her father and his sacrifices for their community and how he has motivated her to be more involved, and to take a leadership role.

“I have learned that there is a difference between being a leader in name and actually leading,” said Hill. “I understand that there is often a cost to being in charge, and that is responsibility. As he has told me, one must be able to deal with the backlash of decisions or one should not be in a position to make them.”

Second place winner Michelle Bello is a 2017 graduate of Pennsauken High School where she has maintained a 4.05 GPA. Bello is involved in the National Honor Society, where she served as Treasurer, and has organized and participated in many events including a Blood Drive, Collection of Holiday gifts, Bowling Tournaments, served the homeless, cleaned up the environment at her youth center, read to elementary school children, served as Secretary of SADD, and so much more.

Michelle is also an accomplished athlete and holds varsity letters in bowling, track and field, and volleyball.

Her father, Samuel Carney, is a member of the Pennsauken Emergency Medical Services, where he serves as an EMT. In her essay, Michelle details how watching her dad serve their community throughout her entire life has inspired her.

“Helping other people and being willing to put your life on the line for others have been qualities that were instinctive to me growing up,” said Bello. “My dad loves his job and putting the needs of others first was an important lesson we were taught from an early age. More than a concept to be learned, it was a characteristic that was easily adopted as the norm when you saw it in action on a continuous basis.”

For more information about ESA’s Youth Scholarship program, go here.

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