The Electronic Security Association has awarded $12,500 in scholarship funds to students from Virginia and New Jersey as a part of the association’s annual Youth Scholarship Program, sponsored by COPS Monitoring and DMP.
Jessica Hill of Bristow, Va., received top honors with a first-place 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.
“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,” said ESA President, Angela White. “ESA, on behalf of the electronic security industry, is pleased to support these incredible families.”
First place winner Jessica Hill is a 2017 graduate of Patriots High School in Nokesville, Va. Hill’s academic achievements, essay, community service and extracurricular activities have earned her first place in the 2017 ESA Youth Scholarship Program.
Hill achieved a 4.541 GPA and participates in many extracurricular activities all while excelling in school, working and fulfilling volunteer roles. 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.
On the extracurricular front, Jessica was the captain of the varsity dance team, marching band, symphonic/concert band, secretary of the Student Council Association, vice president of the Science National Honor Society, English National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Social Studies Honor Society, founding member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and Key Club. Jessica will be attending the College of William and Mary in the fall as a member of the Monroe Scholars program, where she plans to major in biology.
Jessica’s father, Andrew Hill, is a police captain in Fairfax County, Va., and 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 4.0476 GPA. Bello is extremely 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 more.
Bello is also an accomplished athlete and holds varsity letters in bowling, track and field, and volleyball.
Bello’s father, Samuel Carney, is a member of the Pennsauken Emergency Medical Services, where he serves as an EMT.
Visit ESA’s Youth Scholarship page to learn more about the program at www.ESAweb.org/Scholarship.