This year alone, the Electronic Security Association and its participating state chapters have awarded over $67,000 in scholarships to remarkable college-bound students.
This philanthropic initiative recognizes the work of first responders, who serve to save and protect our country, by granting scholarships to their graduating sons and daughters. In 2018, ESA was supported by COPS Monitoring and Digital Monitoring Products (DMP) to award two overall first and second place winners.
Since its inception, the ESA Youth Scholarship Program has awarded over $600,000 in scholarship funds to children of police officers and firefighters. ESA — at the national level along with its state chapters making local grassroots progress — has worked diligently on this philanthropic initiative for over 20 years. Please meet the overall 2018 winners.
Looking to make a difference? The youth scholarship committee is currently seeking applicants. Help judge the applications of students like Naomi. Sign up here!
Naomi Hess Clarksville, Maryland
Naomi Hess is a 2018 graduate of River Hill High School where she excels in both academic and extracurricular activities, while simultaneously taking an active role in her community. Hess has held a cumulative 4.0 GPA.
“I am so grateful to have won this scholarship,” Naomi says. “And I am honored to serve as a representation of the important work of first responders. When people ask me what my dad does, I always smile when I tell them he is a firefighter.”
Hess is passionate about giving back and lending a voice to those who otherwise wouldn’t have one. She is the co-founder of “River Hill Girl Up,” a campus organization that supports girls’ education in developing countries.
In fact, giving back is a sentiment fostered by her family and the firefighters she has grown up surrounded by.
“The firefighters in Prince George’s County have always supported the Muscular Dystrophy Association,” she says. “My dad had no idea, while doing so, that he would eventually have a daughter with muscular dystrophy who benefits from these fundraising efforts. The compassion of their brotherhood should remind us all to lend a hand to others whenever we can.”
Naomi is interested in pursuing journalism, education and holds a passion for politics and social issues. What message does she hope to spread? “Try hard. Do your best,” she says. “You never know how far you can get until you push yourself.”
Naomi’s father, Steven Hess, is the Deputy Fire Chief for the BWI Airport Fire and Rescue Department in Clarksville, Maryland, where he leads 90 people that all contribute to the safety and security of commuters in the airport. Prior to this he spent 23 years with the Prince George County Fire/EMS Department.
“It is very humbling yet gratifying to have Naomi win this scholarship,” says Steven. “Humbling in the sense that we are very private people and don’t always speak of our own actions (we let our actions speak for ourselves). So, for Naomi to be recognized for her very honest and open feelings about me is truly something unexpected.”
Steven, who has responded to emergency calls from house fires and car accidents — who must be prepared each day at the airport for smoking plane engines, bomb scares, and more — revealed his hero.
“Naomi is so strong,” he says. “She has some challenges, but she more than makes up for them with her inner strength and her courageous perseverance.”
In the fall, she will begin her first semester as a fulltime college student at Princeton University in New Jersey.
“I will work diligently to make my dad proud throughout this journey,” she says. “And I hope to make all of you who have contributed to this scholarship fund proud as well.”
Noah Meyer Las Vegas, NV
Noah Meyer is a 2018 graduate of Silverado High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he maintained a 4.0 GPA.
“It means the world to me to win this award,” Noah says. “It also means my father can get recognition for the amazing acts he does day in and day out.”
Meyer was treasurer of his engineering club, participated in his school’s orchestra with the cello as his instrument of choice, and received numerous musical and academic awards during his high school tenure.
Noah’s father, Joseph Meyer is an eleven-year-veteran firefighter for the City of North Las Vegas Fire Department.
“I stay motivated by knowing that what I do makes a difference in someone’s life,” Joseph Says. “Helping others in need gives me a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.”
Noah will attend the University of Nevada, Reno with the plan to study Materials Science and Engineering. After obtaining his undergraduate degree Meyer hopes to pursue a master’s degree in nuclear engineering.
“The determination and persistence my father exhibits serves as a perpetual reminder to never give up on my own goals — that everything is attainable,” Noah says.
Congratulations Chapter Winners by State
California: Karayah Gibbs, Oakland Awarded $5000
Connecticut: Heidi Stook, Trumbull Awarded $1000
Florida: Ethan Snider, Jacksonville Awarded $2000
Georgia: Michael Norton, Peachtree City Awarded $1500
Indiana: Kyle Tucker, Sellersburg Awarded $1000
Louisiana: Kyle Kaough, New Orleans Awarded $2500
Nevada: Noah Meyer, Las Vegas Awarded $2000
New Jersey: Ryan Palmer, Clark Awarded $1500
New York: Kayla Grace, N. Massapequa Awarded $1000
North Carolina: Carlee Benfield, Fletcher Awarded $2500
Pennsylvania: Brion Zacherl, Edinboro Awarded $1000
Tennessee: Kaitlyn Moore, Franklin Awarded $1000
Virginia: Eva Waddell, Suffolk Awarded $1000
Washington: Claire Borg, Raymond Awarded $2500
Wisconsin: Zachary Gross, Whitewater Awarded $1500