About ESA's Youth Scholarship Program
Scholarships to Support the Futures of the Children of First Responders
The electronic security industry works intimately with the public safety sector. We appreciate the contribution that police, firefighters, paramedics, and EMTs offer to our communities. To show our appreciation, the program was developed to provide college scholarships to their deserving children.
Since its launch in 1996, ESA’s Youth Scholarship Program has contributed more than $828,500 to deserving students throughout the nation.
High school seniors who have a commitment to excellence and are inspired by the work their first responder parent(s) do in our communities, are invited to apply.
2021 Award Winners
Sierra Martin of New Mexico – 1st Place Overall National Finalist
Congratulations to Sierra Martin, first-place winner of a $12,000 scholarship and ESA’s first-round winner of an additional $1,000.
Luke Rainey of Pennsylvania – 2nd Place Overall National Finalist
Congratulations to Luke who was awarded $4,000 for second place.
Additional First Round Scholarship Winners Included
Nevada (Clark County Residents Only)
Today, ESA and participating local associations from over 14 states are involved in the scholarship program. The first-place winner of each state’s program is automatically considered for the national ESA Youth Scholarship Program awards.
Students whose parent(s) serve in a participating state must enter that state’s program to become eligible for the overall national awards. Students whose parent(s) serve in a state without a program should submit their applications directly to ESA.
This first-round ESA winner, along with winners from each participating state will receive an award and will automatically be considered for an additional national first or second place award. In 2023, national finalist awards, include:
- First place will receive an additional $12,000.
- Second place will receive an additional $4,000.
Each state program awards scholarships at various monetary levels and deadlines may vary. Check your state page for details.
ESA will award a $12,000 scholarship to the first-place national winner, and $4,000 to the second-place national winner.
Awards are based on a combination of academic achievement, national test scores, extracurricular participation and the essay. In addition to completing the application and submitting the appropriate documentation, each student must write an essay explaining “What it means to me to have my parent or guardian involved in securing our community.”
This year, 14 state associations are participating in ESA’s Youth Scholarship Program. Applicants whose parent(s) serve as an active first responder in a participating state should apply to that state. If you do not see your state listed, you can apply directly to ESA.
Participating states include: CA, CO, FL, GA, IN, NC, NJ, NV (Clark County Residents Only), NY, OH, PA, WA, WI.
All National ESA applications are due Friday, April 14.
If you live in a state with a participating ESA Scholarship Program, please check that individual application page for details. Deadlines may vary.
If you are an ESA member interested in starting a participating first responder scholarship program in your state, contact:
1. Applicants must be at least 15 years of age and not older than 20. He or she must be a graduating high school senior who will receive a diploma from an accredited high school. Home schooled students and students attending military or boarding schools are also eligible to apply. Applicants must be accepted for admission to an accredited college or university, matriculating the following year.
2. Each eligible student must have a father, mother or natural guardian who meets the following qualifications: a. Parent must be a full-time paid member of the police or sheriff’s department or fire department. Parent/guardian may also be a volunteer member of a fire department. b. Parent or guardian must be an active duty police officer, firefighter, paramedic, or EMT (public sector). Children of administrative staff do not qualify. c. Children of DHS, FBI and other Federal employees do not qualify. d. Children of reserve officers, part-time sheriff’s deputies and retired, or deceased employees do not qualify.
3. Each student must submit a fully completed and signed application. The application may be submitted first, followed by other required documents. Application and all other required documents must be received on or before the deadline to be accepted. Failure to follow instructions can result in disqualification.
4. Students must submit the following:
- Completed and signed application
- Essay (typed)
- Transcripts from the school (or parent if home schooled) that lists the student’s grade point average. GPA must be in a standard 4.0 or 0-100 percent scale or conversion method must be provided.
- Proof of acceptance to a college or university (letter/certificate acceptable; does not have to be the student’s intended college or university).
- Proof of parent’s occupation (copy of ID or supervisory letter on station letterhead acceptable).
- Résumé listing community service, academic prizes, awards, hobbies, extracurricular activities and work history.
- Proof of verified community service.
- Letter of recommendation from a high school counselor, teacher or other outside agency which speaks to the student’s character.
5. All materials become the property of ESA. By submitting an application and essay, the student grants permission to publish any and all essays. Applicants also agree that if they win, they will cooperate in publicity efforts, including (but not limited to) participating in interviews with state and national ESA communications, local, trade and national press, and submitting photos for inclusion in state association and national publications, press materials and online. Applicants will make every effort to be present for the local state association award presentation — and if applicable — the national award ceremony. (Attendance at such an event is not a requirement but is encouraged.)
6. Awards are based on a combination of academic achievement, national test scores, community service, extracurricular participation and the essay. All decisions are final. The score is based on the following:
- 25 POINTS: Grade Point Average (unweighted GPA submission required for consideration) + ACT/SAT Scores if applicable Student’s without test scores will have their GPA more heavily impact their score in the judging process.
- 40 POINTS: Essay
- 20 POINTS: Verified Community Service
- 15 POINTS: Academic Prizes, Awards, Hobbies, School and Extracurricular Activities/Clubs
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