2005 Award Recipients

Valesia Daniels, of Douglasville, GA, will attend the Rhema Bible Training Center. After graduation, she plans to get a certificate and work in a church. Valesia's husband, police officer Joseph Jerome Daniels died in the line of duty while working for the City of Birmingham Department of Police. Mr. Daniels was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Ryan Darling, of Tehachapi, CA, will start as a freshman this fall at the California Polytechnic State University. Ryan is majoring in business administration and plans to attend graduate school, and then possibly to obtain a Ph.D. in psychology. His long term goal is own his own practice or manage an already established business. In high school, Ryan was on the track and field, cross country and basketball teams. He was the homecoming king, Boys' State nominee, member of National Honor Society and California Scholarship Federation, and ASB representative, ski club member, Troop 3 Boy Scout assistant, and Habitat for Humanity member, and was also a lifeguard and swim lesson instructor. Ryan's father, Edward Savko lost his life in the line of duty while working for the L.A. County Fire Department in Los Angeles.

Kimberly Dingwall, of Higganum, CT, is attending the New England Technical Institute in New Britain, CT. Kimberly is a full-time mom with 2 children and plans to begin a career in culinary arts upon graduation in June 2006. Kim's husband, Sergeant George R. Dingwall, was a 19-year veteran with the City of Middletown Police Department (and member of the Fraternal Order of Police) when he died in the line of duty.

Christina Giacomelli, of Brentwood, CA, will return as a junior this fall at Saint Mary's College of California in Moraga, CA, where she is majoring in biology. After graduation, she plans to continue her education in pre-med or pharmacy. In high school, Christina was a cheerleader for 4 years and was voted “best all around cheerleader.” Christina's father, Raymond Giacomelli died in the line of duty while serving the Pittsburg, CA Police Department.

Lucretia Helms, of Salina KS, will start her sophomore year this fall at Kansas State University, where she is majoring in public relations and is a member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority. After graduation, Lucretia aspires to earn a masters degree. Her father, Shannon J. Helms was employed by the City of Salina when he lost his life as the result of an on-duty accident.

Marisa Wilcom, of Harpers Ferry, WV, will start her freshman year at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in the fall. She plans to major in Animal Science. Her goal is to become the first in her family to further her education by attending college. She is also a cadet commander of the Air Force Junior ROTC program. In high school, she was on the National Honor Society, Kitty Hawk Air Society and received the following: the Air Force Association Award, American Legion Scholastic Award, Magna Cum Laude and Distinguished Catet Award. Marisa's father, Michael J. Wilcom died in the line of duty while volunteering for the New Market Fire Company in Frederick County, MD.

Madison Clark, of Noble, OK, will start her sophomore year this fall at Southern Nazarene University, where she is studying nursing. She chose nursing because of her strong passion to help others and to give back to the community. In addition to maintaining a 3.517 GPA, Madison is on the volleyball team and has been active in intramural soccer, broomball and lipsync. In high school, Madison excelled academically, athletically, and as a student leader. She was president of the Key Club and helped organize a variety of public service activities that benefited various groups in the community. She participated in many sports and served as captain of the school's volleyball team and manager of the girls' basketball team. She was also Secretary of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Madison's father, Jim Clark lost his life in the line of duty while working for the Midwest City Fire Department.

Robert Crutchfield, IV, of Danville, VA, will return this fall to Danville Community College where he is studying computer programming and networking. Robert says he realizes a high school diploma is not enough anymore and wants to further his education. He was eight when his father was killed and has worked hard to help his mother take care of the family's home, both inside and outside. He has worked at several part time jobs while in high school and when he attended Danville Community College. He volunteered at a local school doing odd jobs such as moving furniture and supplies. Robert says that if he receives scholarship assistance, he will be able to devote more time to his studies. Robert's father, Robert Crutchfield, III, lost his life in the line of duty while working for the Danville Fire Department.

Michael Fields, of Desoto, TX, is returning this fall to the Texas State University at San Marcos, majoring in political science. Michael says education is his first priority and will become the first male in his family to graduate from college. He plans to attend law school to prepare himself for a career in politics or law. Michael has been active in the Boy Scouts for nine years and earned its highest honor, Eagle Scout. During his sophomore year, he campaigned for the university student government, giving him insights into what a future career in politics would be like. One of his Scout leaders says this about Michael: "If he starts something, he will work hard and distinguish himself in the process." Michael's father, Gerald Fields lost his life in the line of duty while working for the Dallas Fire Department.

Jessica Fiore, of Staten Island, NY, will return this fall to Boston College. Last year she transferred into the School of Education and will graduate with a dual degree in education and communications. Jessica excels academically and in extracurricular activities. This year she plans to apply for Boston College's 5-year program where she can earn her master's degree in only one year. She then plans to teach in an elementary school. Jessica serves as the Director of Design for the Undergraduate Government of Boston College. She is responsible for publicity of all its concerts, speaker forums, and dances. She is also a mentee in the college's leadership program where she planned freshman class activities, including volunteer work and publications. She also participated in the School Admissions Program, where she stayed with high school students for the day and answered questions on the college. Jessica's father, Michael Fiore lost his life in the line of duty on 9/11 working for the Fire Department of New York.

Justine Fitzgerald, of Somerville, MA, is pursuing her masters of reading degree at Salem State College. Justine graduated from Lesley University in 2002 with a degree in elementary education. She first took a job at a daycare center and then became a third grade teacher at a private school, St. Benedict's Little Flower School. The school is very diverse with students of varying abilities. Justine has realized that she needs more training in teaching reading. She began coursework last year and hopes to complete her studies while working fulltime, too. Justine lives in the same neighborhood where she teaches so she has taken on the role as the Sunday Mass coordinator. This allows her to be involved with students other than the 17 third graders in her class. She says she enjoys being a role model for the children of her parish. Justine's father, David Fitzgerald, lost his life in the line of duty working for the Somerville Fire Department.

LaVar Merrell, of Chicago, IL, is currently attending Knox College where he is pursuing a career in journalism. During the past year he served an internship as a sportswriter with the university newspaper. He hopes this type of work will help prepare him to be a network sports anchor or analyst. During high school, LaVar participated in basketball and track while maintaining his academic status. He was a member of the National Honor Society and participated in its community service blood and food drives. One of LaVar's teachers describes him as a “role model to young children of all backgrounds.” LaVar's father, L. C. Merrell lost his life while working for the Chicago Fire Department.

Meghan Minehan, of Boston, MA, is pursuing a master's of social work degree at Loyola University. Meghan graduated from Wheelock College in 2003 with a bachelor of social work degree. While in college, she interned with Violence Recovery Program where she provided individual counseling and outreach. Now she wants to become a licensed social worker and is returning to school to attain this goal. For the past year, Meghan has worked as a relief advocate for Casa Myrna Vasquez, part of SafeLink, the Massachusetts statewide 24-hour domestic hotline. She also works as a site coordinator for Boston Partners in Education where she coordinates lunchtime based reading programs in Boston elementary schools. One of her supervisors says that Meghan gives 110 percent in everything she does and is an incredible worker and peer. Meghan's father, Stephen Minehan, lost his life in the line of duty working for the Boston Fire Department.

Jason A. Miller, of Malvern, IA, is beginning his freshman year at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, IA. His major is Criminal Justice, with an end dream of being a criminal forensic investigator. Jason was an outstanding basketball player in high school and was named to the All-Conference Team in 2005. He also has won several awards with his show horse. Jason is the stepson of Fremont County, IA Sheriff's Deputy Gilbert G. Androy, EOW 10-15-97.

Lauren Smith, of Hyattsville, MD is in her freshman year at Frostburg State University, Frostburg, MD. She is majoring in science and plans to attain an advanced degree in Biomedical Science to pursue a career in the research field. Lauren played alto saxophone in high school, sang in the gospel choir, and was a member of the Music Honor Society. She has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, So Others Might Eat, and Ascension Lutheran School Summer Camp. Lauren is the daughter of Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Officer William A. Smith, EOW 8-03-1989.

Amanda Elkins, of Quartz Hill, CA, is studying communications/sociology at Biola University. Mandy has a deep passion to reach families who are living troubled lives due to poverty and illness. After graduation, she plans to be a case worker with a counseling agency and work to better the lives of children. She also wants to pursue a graduate degree in marriage and family therapy. Mandy is very active at Biola. She joined the Mexico Missions team and worked at an orphanage in Tijuana. She lived in South America for 6 weeks as part of an outreach program. She continues to do volunteer work in the Los Angeles area.

Susan Blackmore, of Farmingdale, NY, is attending Molloy College working toward attaining a nursing degree. She has excelled academically and is a member of the Honor Society of Nursing. Susan participates in health screening fairs on campus. Susan is also active in her church where she offers support to grieving members after the loss of a loved one. Susan and her husband shared a goal that one day they would return to school to obtain their bachelor degrees. After her husband's death in 1998 (James Blackmore died in the line of duty while working for the Fire Department of New York), Susan had to put her educational plans on hold to care for their four children. With two daughters now in college (one of whom, Sara was a 2003 Vantagepoint Memorial Scholarship recipient), Susan says she could use the financial assistance to help he attain her nursing degree.

Richard Roberts, of Johnstown, PA, will start his sophomore year at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he is majoring in criminology. Richard, a veteran of active duty and a member of the National Guard, takes as many credits as he can between deployments. He plans to work for a federal law enforcement agency after graduation. His father, Richard Roberts lost his life in the line of duty while working for the Johnstown Fire Department.

Andrew White, of Brush Prairie, WA, says building has fascinated him since childhood, when he played endlessly with Legos and Kinex. He is beginning his freshman year at the Rose Hulman School of Engineering in Terre Haute, IN to pursue a degree in chemical engineering. He is also an accomplished clarinet player. Andrew is the son of Stockton, CA Police Officer Timothy D. White, EOW 2-04-1990.

Constance J. Searles-Myers, of Mesa, AZ, was 11 years old when her father was killed. There were no education benefits available at that time, and she did not have the opportunity to attend college. Now 32, Constance will achieve her goal of attaining a degree in Business Management at the University of Phoenix in Phoenix, AZ in 1½ years. She is the daughter of Sauk County, WI Sheriff's Deputy Stuart J. Searles, EOW 6-10-1984.

Gina Vinecourt, of Belfair, WA, was 8 years old when her father was killed. Now, after much soul-searching, she is determined to complete the 650-hour certificate course at the Seattle, WA Brenneke School of Massage that will enable her to open her own Message Therapy practice. Gina is the daughter of Kitsap County, WA Sheriff's Deputy Dennis R. Allred, EOW 4-19-1978.

Brooke Wagner, of Omaha, NE, is in her second year of the Nursing Program at Creighton University, in Omaha, NE. So far she has taken required pre-requisites with a 3.0 GPA. She is looking forward to getting into more nursing-detailed classes. She volunteers at the Sienna St. Francis House and works part-time. Brooke is the daughter of Nebraska State Trooper Mark Wagner, EOW 3-04-1999.

Brianna Noyes, of Silver Lake, NH, is beginning her freshman year at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. She is majoring in cinema/cinematography. High school teachers have commended her creativity in a number of areas, but Brianna has her sights on becoming a "big-time" director and/or producer. She is the daughter of New Hampshire State Police Sgt. James S. Noyes, EOW 10-03-1994.

Natasha Palmer, of New Castle, DE is a beginning freshman at the Art Institute of Atlanta, where she is majoring in interior design. She is the daughter of Philadelphia Housing Authority Officer Alvin C. Palmer, EOW 4-12-95.

Megan O'Brien, of Stacy, MN is now in her 6th quarter at Brown College in Mendota Heights, MN, and has a GPA of 3.82. Currently she is planning on becoming a Humane Law Enforcement agent when she completes her degree in criminal justice. She is the daughter of St. Paul Police Officer John J. O'Brien, EOW 4-16-1981.

Evan D. Payne Barnhart, of Ticonderoga, NY is beginning his second year at Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, TN. He wants to teach high school history and also coach basketball or soccer. He works part-time at Office Depot, and volunteers in a Spanish-speaking nursery. Evan is the son of Lewiston, ME Police Officer David R. Payne, EOW 7-23-1988.