The Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation has awarded 11 scholarships to children of Texas law enforcement officers to assist with the cost of paying for college.
The students submitted letters explaining why they were applying for one of the scholarships distributed annually by the POMF along with resumes containing their high school accomplishments and letters from mentors or teachers attesting to their good character.
All of the students held down high school jobs – either for pay or as community volunteers – while maintaining rigorous class schedules and demanding extracurricular activities.
One even found time to take on a role in a hit movie filmed in Texas and a role in an Emmy Award winning television series also shot in Austin.
CLEAT is the founding sponsor of the foundation, which is funded solely by contributions, and awards scholarships annually to eligible students.
Since its inception in 1987, the POMF has worked to preserve the rich history of Texas law enforcement and provide support for the families of peace officers. The foundation honors the fallen by providing assistance and support in a line of duty deaths, sponsors the biennial Memorial Service at the State Capitol and supports research to find and honor all Texas Peace Officers who throughout history have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Here are the 2015 POMF scholarship recipients:
Cody May, whose father, Marvin May, is a Fort Worth police officer in the Arson Division. Cody was active in the Crowley High School FFA and also raised show-quality Main Anjou Cattle. He has won numerous school and community leadership awards and served as Student Council president. He was part of his church’s Disaster Response Team that helped the victims of the 2013 tornado in Moore, Okla. Cody plans to attend Texas A&M University and major in Wildlife.
Daniel Raya, whose mother, Mireya Raya, is a sergeant with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office. Daniel was a member of the National Honor Society at Fort Worth’s C.F. Brewer High School where he was a member of the football, power-lifting and track teams along with the varsity choir. He donated his time to the Shriners Hospital charity events, the animal shelter and with his church’s food donation program. Daniel has been accepted to Texas A&M University-Kingsville and plans to major in Biology and Chemistry.
Alyssa Massey, whose father is Kirk Massey of the Brownsville Police Department. Alyssa is a graduate of St. Joseph Academy in Brownsville and is attending the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio pursuing her degree in Nutrition. During her high school years, Alyssa was a track and cross-country runner and she held down several paid and volunteer positions. She is also employed at Incarnate Word while continuing her volunteer activities.
Alec Ovalle says he wants to follow in the footsteps of his father, San Antonio Police Officer Peter Ovalle. At Devine High School, southwest of San Antonio, Alec was active in the FFA and was captain of the varsity baseball team. Each summer, he volunteered for Mission Devine, which helps underprivileged families. He plans to attend San Angelo State University and major in Criminal Justice.
Alissa Lamb, whose father, Raul Salazar, works for the Nueces County Sheriff’s Office. After graduating from W.B Ray High School, where she was active in the French Club and the Prom Committee while working off campus part time, Alissa is attending Sam Houston State University. She is pursuing her degree in Criminal Justice and Forensic Science.
Jessica Ramirez, whose father, Carlos Estrada, works in the El Paso County Juvenile Justice Department. During her time at El Dorado High School, Jessica was a varsity cheerleader, active with the Peer Assist Leadership Skill, or PALS, Program and with the Distributive Education Clubs of America. And she held several part-time jobs along the way. Jessica plans to attend El Paso Community College and pursue a degree in Nursing.
Angellica M. Collier, whose mother, Angie Collier, works for the Nolan County Sheriff’s Office. Angellica, a graduate of Sweetwater High School, has been accepted into West Texas A&M University and plans to major in nursing. Her high school years were packed with activities ranging from volunteering at a local hospital and a child advocacy center, participating in band activities, being a member of the Book and Spanish clubs and serving three years on the Student Council.
Jenna Jacobs wants to carry on her family’s law enforcement tradition, though not necessarily as a police officer like her father, Patrick Todd Jacobs of the Brenham Police Department. Jenna, now attending San Houston State University after graduating in 2013 from Brenham High School, hopes one day to become a public information officer for the FBI. In high school, Jenna made the made the Distinguished Honor Roll and was a member of the National Honor Society. She was a UCA All American cheerleader and an active student leader in numerous organizations.
Orlando Storm Smart, a Cedar Ridge High School graduate with perfect K-12 attendance, is the son of Austin Police Officer Orlando Smart. Young Orlando maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout his academic career while volunteering at local food pantries and with the organizations that assist the elderly. His true passion is theater and he landed credited roles in the movie, True Grit, which was filmed in around Austin and on the hit TV series, Friday Night Lights, also filmed in Austin. He plans to major in Cinematic Arts at either Oklahoma State or at the University of Southern California.
Mikaela Sousounis, whose father, Michael Sousounis, is a Killeen police officer. Mikaeka was a National Honor Society member and president while attending Lampasas High School. She also was captain of the varsity cheerleading squad. During her high school years, Mikaela was a volunteer missionary, a Sunday School teacher and lifeguard at a local public swimming pool. She’s been accepted into Texas A&M University where she plans to major in Biomedical Science.
Michaela Braly, whose father is Irving Police Officer Michael Braly, graduated with honors from Red Oak High School. During her high school career, Michaela was a cheerleader, a volunteer for such causes as the Wounded Warrior Project, Friends of the Fri River and the American Red Cross, a National Honor Society member and a member of the Student Council. She plans to attend Texas State University where she will major in Business.