Ogden police officer Jared Francom was killed in a shootout, Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Aaron Beesley fell to his death during a search and rescue operation, and most recently, police Sgt. Derek Johnson was fatally shot examining a parked vehicle.
Mona Steen, a co-founder of the foundation, said they presented Johnson's widow with a check for $25,000 the day he died. Within six weeks, his family had organized a 5-kilometer run in Draper with nearly 500 participants signed up. She said it is an event the family will sponsor every year, and the proceeds go toward the Utah 1033 Foundation and its new scholarship program.
The new program has raised $10,000, which will be used to award up to five $2,000 scholarships. Steen said she and the foundation have been working with Nancy Michalko, the scholarship advisor at Park City High School, to structure the scholarship amounts, the qualifying criteria and other guidelines.
"We have structured it in a way that now that high school seniors, including those who oftentimes take two years off to serve religious missions rather than going straight into college after graduation, will have up to two years to use the scholarship," Steen said. "Those students can apply now that they are seniors in high school and get the money when they decide to go back to school after their mission."
The scholarship will also not be restricted to use for tuition. Should a student receive a full-ride scholarship or other scholarships, the Utah 1033 Foundation scholarship can be used for books, transportation, lodging or whatever other needs they might have. The scholarship is not made payable to any institution or to anyone but the student.
Steen said qualified applicants are hoping to attend a four-year university or a technical or vocational school, as long as it is accredited. The applicants must also be the children of active police officers. Applications are due by Feb. 28, and Steen said she is excited to see how many students apply and to start reading the applications.
The theme of the scholarship program is "Leadership Grows Here." Steen said the applicants will be asked to tell the scholarship committee about themselves and what they want to do as well as write an essay on their perceptions about leadership.
"Our own local Police Chief Wade Carpenter conducted a leadership program called 'Leaders 4 Life' at the high school several months back, and when I went and sat in on a couple of sessions, I was in awe of not only the program itself but with the reaction students had to the content of the program," Steen said. "I discussed that with Wade, who is on our advisory board, and decided to center our scholarship program around the theme of leadership."
Applicants will need to complete forms that tell the scholarship committee what they have done in their lives to date that has formed their approach to leadership and how it will mold the rest of their lives. Steen said she wants applicants to think long and hard about the responsibilities of leadership and what they will do personally in that arena.
Michalko has posted information on the scholarship on what Steen said is a statewide network that gets information on scholarships out to schools across Utah, and Steen has reached out to local and statewide law enforcement to discuss the program with their children and to take full advantage of the available scholarships.
"It has taken us between two and three-and-a-half years to get to where we are now, and we are so amazed that every day we get contributions from places we never would have thought of," Steen said. "We also get donations from high school groups and organizations doing fundraisers for us, so it's wonderful and very rewarding for us to see the level of support we are getting from the community now that there is an awareness of what we are doing."
For more information or to apply for the scholarship, visit www.utah1033.org/programs/scholarship or contact Utah 1033 Foundation co-founder Mona Steen at 949-335-2874.