Many years back, when I was working with Metropolitan Burglar and Fire Alarm Association, we proudly founded among the first scholarship programs in security. So, it gives me great pleasure to shine a light on some recent and varied security scholarship programs, touching many walks — from kids of first responders, to loss prevention professionals, to women entering cybersecurity, to those in need and more.
I was fortunate to be on hand for the ESA chapter, Nevada Security Association, as they awarded 2017 NSA John Rodda Memorial Scholarship Winners, Diego LaRochelle, child of LVMPD Captain, and Alea Lehr, daughter of Henderson fire engineer. More recently in Florida, Skylar Odin of Miami Springs, daughter of Chief of Hialeah Fire HQ, took ESA-FL’s 2017 first place in the Youth Scholarship Program. Promoting goodwill among the electronic life safety and security industry and police and fire officers, the ESA and state chapters nationwide have been providing college scholarships like these since 1996, now totaling more than $545,000.
Security powerhouse, Vector Security, has its own Loss Prevention Foundation (LPF), and it awards scholarships to loss prevention pros seeking their professional certifications. Since the program began in 2009, Vector has awarded 209 scholarships totaling more than $213,220.
Michael T. Grady, LPC, executive vice president of Vector Security Networks, said “Each year, we receive a high volume of applications from deserving individuals, and this year was no exception.”
Also near and dear to my heart is the advancement of women in security. (ISC)² and the Center for Cyber Safety & Education recently awarded eight deserving women scholarships, to facilitate cybersecurity opportunities for women and girls. CEO David Shearer explained, “By 2022 the cybersecurity workforce gap is expected to hit 1.8 million — it’s a source of continued frustration that women still comprise only 11 percent of positions in the industry… We simply have to do better.”
And, with their commitment, I’m sure we will. Since 2011, they’ve granted 34 women scholarships; $175,000 each year. The “class” of 2017 recipients included: Jan Buitron, doctoral student, Colorado Technical University; master’s students Saleema Adejumo, University of Leicester (UK), Mudita Khurana, Carnegie Mellon, and Susan Wanja, University of Maryland; as well as undergrad students, Valerie Chen, Yale; Ai Nguyen and Avanthika Ramesh, both UC Berkley; and Serita Sergent of NYU. For more on this worthwhile cause visit www.iamcybersafe.org/scholarships/.
The Alarm Industry Research and Education Foundation held its sole fundraising event of the year again in Las Vegas, in conjunction with ISC West. Chairman John Jennings said, “If it wasn’t for our participants, AIREF would not be able to sustain and continue our education projects which benefit the industry.” This, its 14th Annual Golf Tournament, enables AIREF to support critical research and enhance public safety. Top sponsors included Honeywell, ADI, ISC West and Anixter/Tri-Ed. Kudos to all.
Speaking of good sports, join me in supporting Mission 500, the quintessential embodiment of good works in the industry, as the all-security, volunteer-driven organization prepares to host its third annual Security Softball Game, on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, permits permitting, in Ridgefield Park, N.J. All Mission 500 proceeds go to educate, feed, clothe and provide healthcare to needy U.S. children in crisis. This year’s game’s goal is $75,000, and more sponsors are still needed and signing on. Platinum sponsors to date include Altronix, ISC Events, Hanwha, and Napco-StarLink. Help knock one out of the park for U.S. kids. Go to www.mission500.org/softball/.