The Electronic Security Association (ESA) recently awarded $10,000 in scholarships to students from Pennsylvania, and New Jersey as part of the association’s annual Youth Scholarship Program.
Douglas Leonard of Maple Glen, PA received top honors with a first-place scholarship of $7,500 and Caitlin Murphy of Morristown, NJ won $2,500 for second-place.
Since the ESA Youth Scholarship Program was created in 1996, the association and its affiliated Chartered Chapters have donated $541,500 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,” said ESA President Marshall Marinace. “These men and women put their lives on the line every day, and ESA on behalf of the electronic security industry is pleased to support these incredible families. Awarding scholarships to the first responders’ impressive children is one of the ways we can thank our deserving public safety partners and do our part to make their lives just a little easier.”
This year’s top-prize winner holds a pristine 4.0 GPA at Upper Dublin High School in Fort Washington, Pa. Douglas participates in several extracurricular activities all while exceling in school, and holding several jobs and volunteer roles. He is a Volunteer Researcher for the US Department of Agriculture, a Volunteer EMT with Second Alarmers Rescue Squad, an EMT with Emergency Training Solutions, and a Lifeguard at Maple Manor Swim Club. On the extracurricular front Douglas was a Quartermaster with Troop 542 where he was awarded the coveted Eagle Scout Rank, he is also President of the Model United Nations & World Affairs Club, Communications Officer for the National Honor Society and earned Varsity letters in Swimming, Lacrosse, and Track & Field at his high school. Douglas has been accepted to the Honors Program of the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston College.
Douglas’s father is a firefighter for the City of Fort Washington, Pa. As 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.” Douglas wrote about how his father’s dedication to serving others has inspired him to follow in his footsteps.
“As a firefighter, my dad has always made sacrifices,” said Douglas. “I remember when he left on Christmas Day to respond to a house fire, leaving his family to help another. Working as an EMT has given me a greater appreciation of my father’s dedication. Rousing myself at 3:45 AM to treat a battered woman gave me a window into the many times he has responded in the middle of the night himself. His example instilled in me the value of helping others, even if it means making personal sacrifices.”
Caitlin Murphy of Morristown, NJ won first-place in the New Jersey Electronic Security Association Youth Scholarship Program and was awarded the second-place prize in ESA’s national scholarship program for her scholastic achievements, essay and community involvement.
Caitlin will soon graduate from Villa Walsh Academy with a 4.0 GPA and has become a distinguished leader in her community. Throughout her high school career, Caitlin participated in Cross Country, Track, and Lacrosse, the Student Council Executive Board and the Villa Walsh Academy Planning Team. She has also volunteered for Summer Sports Camps, Habitat for Humanity and Youth Ministry.
Caitlin’s father, John Murphy, is a firefighter with the Morris Township Fire Department. In her application essay, Caitlin said of being a firefighter: “One must be extremely brave and selfless, as your job involves putting your life in danger in order to help others, often people you do not even know. My father is a prime example of a man who for the past 33 years has consistently risked his safety to help others in the community.”