2006 Award Recipients

Jason A. Miller, of Malvern, IA, will start his second 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.

Natasha Palmer, of New Castle, DE is starting her sophomore year 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.

Lauren Smith, of Hyattsville, MD is in her sophomore 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.

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.

Casey Spencer, of Spencer, MA, has been accepted to the very selective Master’s of Education in Education for the Deaf program at Boston University and will begin classes in the fall. She has worked extensively with the Worchester deaf community through volunteer work and employment. Casey’s father died in the highly publicized Worchester Cold Storage fire and at age 15, she only knew that whatever she did with her life had to be great enough to live up to the legacy of her father’s bravery. Through her hard work and effort, she has achieved and maintained balance between her dedication to school work and her devotion to the community.

Jennifer Blackfox-Wilson, of Oklahoma City, OK, will return as a junior this fall to the University of Oklahoma, where she is working toward a degree in nursing. After graduation, she hopes to work in a clinic as a nurse practitioner. Jennifer’s father, Shelby Blackfox, died in the line of duty while serving with the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service Narcotics Unit in Tahlequah, OK.

Michelle Cunha, of Hill, NH, will begin her first year of law school at the Massachusetts School of Law this fall to, as she says, make the United States a more equitable society through direct participation in its government as a lawyer. Michelle’s father, Walter Cunha, died while serving the public sector as an employee for the Department of Public Works in Lexington, MA.

Renee Dunham, of Saint Jo, TX, will begin her freshman year at North Central Texas College this fall where she will pursue a degree in elementary education. Renee’s life-long goal, she says, is to serve her community just as her father did. She was very active in sports during high school and a frequent volunteer with the Saint Jo Fire Department. Renee’s father, James Dunham, died in the line of duty while serving with the Saint Jo Fire Department.

Hannah Hudson, of Dalton, GA, will start her freshman year this fall at the University of West Georgia, to pursue a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. After graduation, Hannah plans to pursue a master’s degree and after a few years teaching, an education specialist degree. Hannah’s father, William Ricky Hudson, died in the line of duty at the age of 31, while serving with the Ben Hill County Sheriff’s Department in Fitzgerald, GA.

Jennifer Bone, of Smyrna, GA, will start graduate school at the State University of West Georgia in the fall, where she plans to pursue a master’s level education in instructional technology. Bone, who currently works as a media specialist for the Cobb County School District, said one of her goals is to train other educators how to better merge technology and information systems into their classrooms. Bone’s father, Det. Samuel Guy was killed in 1975 during a hotel robbery, after 19 years of service with the Atlanta Police Department.

Jessica Giacomelli, of Brentwood, CA, will start her freshman year at Saint Mary’s College of California this fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After graduation, she wants to attend police academy to become a police officer. Jessica’s father, Raymond Giacomelli, died in the line of duty while serving with the Pittsburg Police Department in Pittsburg, CA.

Scott Hesterberg, of Wasilla, AK, will begin his freshman year at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in networking and system administration. Scott hopes to acquire the skills necessary to manage systems for the FBI after graduation. His father, James Hesterberg, died in the line of duty, while transporting prisoners for the Alaska Department of Corrections.

Tara Franklin, of Warwick, NY, will return as a junior to St. Bonaventure University this fall to continue pursuing a degree in elementary education with a minor in special education. Tara looks forward to becoming a teacher in a couple years and hopes to coach soccer too. Her father, Donald Franklin, who served with the New York City Fire Department for more than 16 years, was killed in the line of duty five years ago.

Sean Jenkins, of Riverside, CA, will return as a junior this fall to California State University Fullerton to continue pursuing a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After graduation, Sean wants to work with people who have debilitating mental and mood disorders. In the meantime, he continues to be an active member of his church, a volunteer as a Big Brother and percussionist for his garage rock band. Sean’s father, Brent Jenkins, died in the line of duty while serving with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in Cabazon, CA.

Samantha Rios, of San Dimas, CA, will begin her freshman year at the University of California Los Angeles this fall, where she plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology and biochemistry. Her goal is to work for a police department crime lab after graduation. Samantha’s father, Joe Rios, died in the line of duty while serving with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Timothy Salvadori, of Healdsburg, CA, will return as a sophomore to Napa Valley College in the fall to continue pursuing an associate’s degree in respiratory therapy. Timothy is very active in his community and others, often participating in mission trips. His father, Richard Salvadori, died during his sophomore year of high school, from a heart attack while at work in the field. Mr. Salvadori had worked for the City of Healdsburg for over 22 years in various capacities for the Public Works Department.

Melea Wilson, of Indianapolis, IN, will return to the University of Indianapolis this fall to continue pursuing a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Melea said she hopes to be able to make a difference in the lives of others as she helps them develop the necessary skills to improve their quality of life. Her father, Roy Wilson, died in the line of duty while serving with the City of Chickasha Fire Department in Oklahoma.

Kyle Winters, of Greenfield, IN, will start his freshman year at Indiana University this fall where he intends to pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Kyle has volunteered with the Concerns of Police Survivors and the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police for four years and has been a member of Business Professionals of America for two years. His father, Gregg Winters, died in the line of duty, while serving with the Muncie Police Department in Muncie, IN.

Richard Roberts, of Johnston, PA, will continue to pursue a degree in criminology. He has aspirations of working in the Federal Law Enforcement Agency after graduation. Before starting his post-secondary education, Richard served four years in the military. He continues to serve his country as a member of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and holds a position as a full time leader of 165 soldiers serving both here and in Iraq. Even though his work often requires him to put in more than 60 hours a week, he has managed to maintain a 3.75 GPA.

Shane Franklin, of Warwick, NY, is pursuing a degree in criminology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and has already completed a number of classes in the field. He hopes to follow in his family’s tradition as a public servant. After graduation, he plans to take exams for the New York Police Department and the Fire Department and his goal is to become a Fire Department of New York firefighter like his father, grandfather and great grandfather.

Conor Franklin, of Warwick, NY, is planning to attend St. Bonaventure University this fall to pursue a career in the health care profession. He hopes to get a degree as a doctor of pharmacy and work in the New York area. He has been an honor roll student all four years of high school. Conor’s father, Donald Franklin, died in the line of duty while working for the Fire Department of New York.

Jessica Barker, of Tampa, FL, says her father, Jack Barker, believed that education should be a priority in life. He died when she was in the 8th grade while serving the City of Tampa Fire Rescue Department. Jessica’s goal is to graduate from Catawba College with a degree in musical theatre and theatre administration and a minor in choreography. She has been dancing since the age of 3 and was selected as a member of both the Dance Ensemble and Dance Team at her school.

Kaitlin Albiez, of Warren, NJ, will return to Fairfield University in Connecticut this fall to continue pursuing a degree in business and marketing. After graduation, she plans on working for a few years to save enough money to put herself through law school. Even though Kaitlin’s father, Joseph Pepe, who died in the line of duty while serving with the Springfield Fire Department in New Jersey, was her stepfather, he played and continues to play a major role in shaping who she is today, she says.

Shannon LaPiedra, of Staten Island, NY, will attend Monmouth University in the fall to major in computer science. She plans to pursue a career as a computer programmer. Shannon maintained a high average in her high school career and is active in volunteer work that benefits widows of firefighters, which she does in remembrance of her father, James LaPiedra, who died while serving the Fire Department of New York.

Meghan LaPiedra, of Staten Island, NY, plans to attend Monmouth University in the fall to major in computer science. She hopes to become a computer programmer in the future. Meghan consistently received high honors while being active in school and extra curricular activities. The most important activity she’s involved with, she says, is helping her mother organize and manage an annual race in memory of her father.

Jordan Martin, of Chesterfield, MO, plans to attend Valparaiso University in the fall to major in graphic design and minor in business. Since his father’s death, Jordan has been called upon to step up and fill his father’s shoes by taking care of his siblings, running errands for his mother and by generally acting as a father figure to his brother and sister. Jordan’s father, Derek Martin, died in the line of duty while serving the St. Louis Fire Department.

Maureen Cavalieri, of Malverne, NY, will return to Marymount College of Fordham University this fall to continue pursuing a degree in psychology. Maureen’s father, Joseph Cavalieri, died in the line of duty while serving the Fire Department of New York. Maureen says that whatever she does in life will be in honor of her parents who instilled the value of public service in her.

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

Brianna Noyes, of Silver Lake, NH, is starting her sophomore 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.

Evan D. Payne Barnhart, of Ticonderoga, NY, is beginning his third 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.

Megan O’Brien, of Stacy, MN is now in her fourth year 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.

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 33, Constance is continuing to pursue her goal of attaining a degree in Business Management at the University of Phoenix in Phoenix, AZ in one and a half years. She is the daughter of Sauk County, WI Sheriff’s Deputy Stuart J. Searles, EOW 6-10-1984.

Brooke Wagner, of Omaha, NE, is in her third 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.