ESA Announces its 2023 Youth Scholarship Award Winners

ESA Announces its 2023 Youth Scholarship Award Winners
Electronic Security Association — July 13, 2023

Our police, firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs put their lives on the line to keep us safe. The security industry works closely with these forces, providing support and technology to help them do their job more efficiently.  

But ESA wants to do more than just that. To give back to this brave group of public servants, ESA has developed the ESA Youth Scholarship Program — a philanthropic endeavor that aims to support the futures of first responders’ children. The program has awarded over $850,000 to high school seniors dedicated to excellence and inspired by their first responder parents. 

“First responders put their personal lives on hold each day to keep us safe. They forego precious family time making public safety a priority — and as an industry, our relationship with them is extremely important,” says ESA Youth Scholarship Award Chairwoman, Kelly Bond.

“The scholarship program provides a way to give back to our first responders.  Each year I am amazed at the caliber of students that apply for the scholarship.”

The Youth Scholarship Award strives to make an impact on youth so they can make an impact on the world, much as their parents have. This year, 14 state associations participated with ESA in a programmatic effort to support the families of first responders. Awards were given in each state and national first and second place winners were recognized. 

This year’s first place award recipient is Amaya Fischer of firefighter Mike Fischer. Amaya recently finished an apprenticeship at her dad’s fire station and has been accepted into Carroll College’s Direct Entry Nursing Program. Amaya’s goal is to pursue a doctorate in the future and become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, to provide mental health support in a variety of environments, including emergency rooms, hospitals, prison systems, veterans’ centers, and nursing homes. Her passion lies in helping people in unfortune situations.  

Amaya received the call announcing her award while she was apprenticing at the fire station, where she got to celebrate the win with her team. The news was especially encouraging to her since she missed qualifying for track discus by a few inches a few hours before the call. Although she had significant merit scholarships from Carroll College, she still had a big gap in her tuition, room, and board. The Youth Scholarship Award will help fill that gap, lowering her student loans significantly this coming year. 

“I want to give a huge thank you to everyone involved with ESA for making this scholarship a possibility,” says Amaya.

“You all have truly made a positive difference in my life. You all have inspired me and motivated me to work hard and chase my dreams — and I will begin to do this by making the most of this generous scholarship and working toward my dream of becoming a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner.”

ESA flew Amaya and her father, Mike Fischer, to ESX 2023 in Louisville for them to receive the award in the amount of $12,000 in person. Amaya and Mike both expressed how welcome they felt by everyone at ESX. 

“I’m honored that I had the amazing opportunity to be… at the ESX Convention. Thank you [ESA] for being so kind and invested in conversations with me. You made me feel like I was an important individual,” Amaya said about ESX.  

Mike, an Engineer on Ladder 51 for the Middleton-Star Fire Districts, is thrilled to see this scholarship continue to open opportunities for Amaya and told us how grateful he was for the time with Amaya at ESX before she left for college. 

“I cannot put into words how proud I am of Amaya, he says. “ “I am so grateful for this day. The efforts of ESA to facilitate this experience have impacted me greatly. And everyone we met at the ESX Conference was so kind and genuine. Thank you, ESA.”  

These ESA scholarship awards are made possible by contributions from ESA and from our partners COPS Monitoring and the Law Offices of Marc Katz.  

ESA’s second place national winner, Austin Picinich from Kirkland, Washington, was awarded $4240. He is the son of Greg Picinich, a Battalion Chief for the City of Kirkland Fire Department.  

ESA also wants to recognize the following state winners: 

  • Mia Olivera, California 
  • Justin Millican, Florida 
  • Anna Agan, Georgia 
  • Ethan Poling, Indiana 
  • Daniel Liam Donovan, New York 
  • Garret Crum, Ohio 
  • Alexander Morelli, Pennsylvania 
  • Austin Picinich, Washington 
  • Molly Schneider, Wisconsin 
  • Joanna Marie Pugliese, Colorado 
  • Spencer Hobson, New Jersey 

Online donations, which will enhance these awards, are now available to the electronic security and life safety channel supporters who are interested in contributing. All donations will go directly to scholarship awards for high school seniors across the country. Supporters will be recognized on the ESA website. Donations can be made at: 


The ESA’s Youth Scholarship Program’s Volunteer Committee Members  

Program Chairwoman: Kelly Bond, Parnter at Davis Mergers and Acquisitions Group 

Jason Etter, Owner of AVX Integrated Technologies  

Lilianne Chaumont, President of Chaumont Law Inc.  

Karen Smith, Sr. Director at Cultris Security Systems, Inc.  

Mike Perdue, General Manager at Fire and Data Systems, Inc.