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A Heroes Family Scholarship

1 winner$1,000
In Review
Next Application Deadline
Jun 20, 2024
Next Winners Announced
Jul 20, 2024
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners

First responders hold the fabric of society together.

Whether it's policemen, firemen, emergency medical professionals, or members of the military, brave individuals in these fields fight to protect our world, liberties, and lives every day.

Being a first responder often comes with risks. To protect our world and lives, first responders often put themselves in danger. And sadly, we lose many brave first responders every day. In the wake of these tragedies, spouses, children, and friends are left behind and must move forward in the face of the pain of loss.

As one small way to help the families of first responders, the A Heroes Family Scholarship exists to provide financial support for a student who has lost a parent or spouse to an on-duty tragedy of a first responder. This includes those in law enforcement, fire, or the military.

The scholarship is open to students in any field of study who are pursuing a 2 or 4-year degree, which can include a traditional college program, trade or vocational school, or professional certificate program.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Impact, Boldest profile
Published February 28, 2024
Essay Topic
  1. Tell us about the family member you lost. Include their name and department or branch of service. 
  2. Tell us about your fondest memory with that family member or how you honor them as you navigate life.
  3. Tell us about your goals, dreams or aspirations that you are looking to achieve with your education.
400–600 words

Winners and Finalists

Winning Application

Brenna Russell
Emporia State UniversitySaint Louis, MO
I lost my dad in 2016. Nothing could have prepared me for losing him so quickly and suddenly. My dad was a wonderful person. He wasn't just a sheriff's deputy to the community; he was someone you could call on for help, a good talk, or just a huge hug. Losing my dad was complicated, too. He had a heart attack on duty, which was hard enough; but my dad wouldn't be honored. Since his death wasn't "qualified" in the federal government's eyes as a real on-duty death (like a shooting or something of similar nature), my dad's name would never be on the National Peace Officers Memorial. He would simply be another number, another officer gone with little sympathy. Losing my father literally changed everything. Growing up, we lived in Colorado and my dad found decent work with the local sheriff's department. But my parents met in Kansas City while in college and always wanted to move back. When I was in eighth grade, we made the plan to move back once the school year finished so things would go smoothly... but I lost my dad in March. Everything was thrown out of place. My family ended up staying in Colorado until I graduated from high school in 2020, for many reasons. Things changed in my hometown surrounding my dad's death quickly. For as much sympathy and comfort people offered, the sympathy ran out after about a year. My mother's coworkers asked if she'd date again. My siblings and I were mercilessly teased, and my grandparents refused to even speak about my dad. My dad has always had a big impact on me. While he loved police work, he told us all the time about going back to school and teaching history or criminal justice. He was a theater geek, a pop culture fanatic, and a talented singer. My parents loved to take us on road trips and my dad would geek out just as much as the kids would. My dad's love of history and culture eventually led me to choose a history minor at my university, and I'm considering graduate school in the same area. My biggest aspiration is to someday create a scholarship in his memory. My family is tight knit. Even before my dad passed, we were centered on communication and love and helping each other. Nothing was better than seeing my parents dancing in the kitchen, adopting the dog he rescued, and even dressing up for Halloween together. My dad was constantly told he was a "big kid”, and he took that to heart. My mother has taken on an immense load of stress and hardship since losing my dad. Her work and social environment became more and more toxic as the years passed and my mom didn't "move on." My grandparents often raised unkind questions and offered snide remarks. Her friends back in Kansas City seemed to be the only real friends she had, although 800 miles away. Ultimately, we, albeit difficultly, moved to Kansas City in summer 2020. It was an incredibly hard move, but it has all been worth it since. My siblings are in better school and social environments, my mom has better work opportunities, and I'm enjoying myself at college. For as much as I wish my dad was here for every step, I know he's watching over us anyway. I miss him, and I hope we're all doing him proud.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jun 20, 2024. Winners will be announced on Jul 20, 2024.

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