For DonorsFor Applicants

Operation 11 Tyler Schaeffer Memorial Scholarship

Funded by
3 winners, $500 each
Application Deadline
Jul 11, 2024
Winners Announced
Aug 11, 2024
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Career Interest :
Social Work & Criminal Justice
Education Level:
High School Senior

Upon graduation, students go on to pursue a variety of different careers that will be contingent on their interests and purpose. Among those choices, social work remains to be one of the most rewarding as it serves to make a positive difference in others lives.

As college costs continue to rise at a disproportionate rate to the household income, it can be financially difficult for students interested in pursuing social work to receive the appropriate credentials. Everyone deserves the opportunity to be able to achieve their career goals, and given their impact in society students should be encouraged to stay on that intended path.

In memory of Tyler Schaeffer, this scholarship will support a student interested in pursuing social work or criminal justice and who is driven by making the world a better place. Any high school senior may apply to this scholarship.

To apply, please tell us what you are planning to do with your degree to help those in the community who are in need?

Selection Criteria:
Social Work, Positive Impact, Ambition, justice
Published December 9, 2023
Essay Topic

What are you planning to do with your degree to help those in the community who are in need?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Abby Lunsford
University of LouisvilleCorbin, KY
As a society, we are constantly striving to improve the quality of life for everyone. One way to achieve this goal is by investing in education, particularly in fields that directly impact the well-being of individuals and communities. By pursuing an undergraduate degree in criminal justice and psychology, followed by a doctorate in psychology, I will be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to make a positive impact on my community. Criminal justice and psychology are two fields that intersect in many ways. Criminal justice focuses on the study of crime, law enforcement, and the legal system, while psychology is concerned with the study of human behavior and mental processes. By combining these two fields, I can gain a deeper understanding of the factors that contribute to criminal behavior and how to prevent it. Possessing the knowledge of both criminal justice and psychology is an amazing advantage and necessity for changing the violent society we live in. One way that a degree in criminal justice and psychology can help people in the community is by improving the criminal justice system. By understanding the psychological factors that contribute to criminal behavior, I will be able to work to develop more effective rehabilitation programs for offenders. This can help reduce recidivism rates and ultimately make communities safer. In addition to rehabilitating criminals, obtaining a degree in criminal justice and psychology means that I can work to improve mental health services in my community. Mental health is a critical component of overall well-being. Many individuals who come into contact with the criminal justice system have mental health issues, helping improve mental health in my community will not only lessen crime but improve the well-being of the members of my community. Receiving this scholarship will greatly assist me in obtaining my degrees, ultimately allowing me to make a crucial change in my community. With the financial burden of tuition lifted, I can focus on my studies and fully dedicate myself to learning and growing as a professional. With my further education, I will be caple of evaluating and studying criminals to have a deeper understanding of their behaviors and minds. With this knowledge, I will be able to prevent crime and help recover offenders so that more people in my community can be protected. This scholarship will not only benefit me but also those around me as I strive to make a positive impact in my community.
Samantha Koehn
Vanguard University of Southern CaliforniaTurlock, CA
You don't always have the option to choose how your story starts in life, but you have the choice to write your ending. I was born to homeless drug addicts. After 5 weeks in the hospital, with a brain hemorrhage, sepsis and problems eating and breathing, I was given the opportunity to have a better life by being placed into the foster care system. For some, that might have been the end of a story that was over before it began, but for me, I see it as the small spark that ignited the flame that was meant to burn more fiercely than anyone thought it could. I am currently a semester away from completing my associate's degree in criminal justice through a local junior college while completing my senior year of high school. Since the pandemic, I've been taking dual enrollment college classes because I've fallen in love with the criminal justice system and the impact a person can make on the lives of those who are hurting and broken. I am going to obtain my bachelor's degree from a private college next in my journey, where I will major in psychology to use with my criminal justice degree, which will allow me to work with youth offenders who are incarcerated or on probation. I want to be a youth correctional counselor to help guide those who haven't been given the same opportunity that I have, a path toward writing a better ending for their lives. I don't believe that people should be defined by their biggest failures in life. I want to be the person who helps them discover how they got to the point they are at, why they were with the people that led them there, and how to be strong enough to see their worth and to make real and positive change for their remaining future. My birth parents may have benefitted from someone reaching them in their teen years, telling them there is more than getting high and helping guide them toward healthier choices. Between them, there are (at least) eight children who have been born drug-exposed and who have been removed from them through the state. That is eight humans who started life with the cards stacked against them and who would have benefitted from being born to people who had prenatal care, weren't abusing drugs or alcohol, and who could love them like they should be loved from a young age, instead of being removed and placed with grandparents or family members and struggling with medical, mental and emotional issues as a result from their trauma. I was lucky enough to be born later than most of them, so I was made a part of a family that valued me like I should be loved. I am going to be the person who will help teenagers, struggling with the harmful identity they have created, break free from the chains of repeat incarceration and emotional bondage. I'm going to help them create a better story than they thought they could have in life.
Joshua Ross
Fremont Ross High SchoolFremont, OH
A degree in criminal justice can open up a multitude of career paths, but for me, the ultimate goal is to use my knowledge and skills to help those in the community who are in need. There are numerous ways to make a difference in the criminal justice system and contribute to the welfare of society. In this essay, I will outline my plan to utilize my criminal justice degree to benefit the community. Firstly, I plan to use my degree to become a probation officer. Probation officers are responsible for supervising offenders who have been released from prison and are serving a probationary period. My goal as a probation officer is not only to monitor the behavior of the offenders but also to assist them in making positive changes in their lives. This includes helping them secure employment, providing educational opportunities, and connecting them with community resources such as substance abuse treatment programs and mental health services. By doing so, I hope to reduce recidivism rates and help offenders become productive members of society. Secondly, I plan to volunteer with community organizations that provide support services to victims of crime. As a criminal justice professional, I understand the importance of victim advocacy and the role it plays in the healing process. Whether it is providing emotional support, helping with legal procedures, or connecting victims with resources, victim advocates are critical in ensuring that victims receive the help they need. By volunteering my time and expertise with these organizations, I hope to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who have been impacted by crime. Thirdly, I plan to work with local law enforcement agencies to improve community policing efforts. Community policing is a philosophy that emphasizes collaboration between law enforcement and the community to solve problems and prevent crime. As a criminal justice professional, I understand the importance of building trust and relationships between law enforcement and the community they serve. By working with local law enforcement agencies, I hope to promote community engagement and provide a voice for those who feel underserved or marginalized. Fourthly, I plan to advocate for criminal justice reform. The criminal justice system is far from perfect and is plagued with issues such as over-incarceration, racial disparities, and inadequate mental health services. As a criminal justice professional, I believe it is my responsibility to use my knowledge and skills to advocate for change. This includes supporting initiatives such as restorative justice, reducing mandatory minimum sentences, and increasing access to mental health services. By advocating for criminal justice reform, I hope to create a more equitable and just system for all. Lastly, I plan to mentor and educate the next generation of criminal justice professionals. As someone who has benefited from the guidance and mentorship of others, I understand the importance of giving back. By sharing my knowledge and experience with aspiring criminal justice professionals, I hope to inspire and guide the next generation to make a positive impact in their communities. In conclusion, my degree in criminal justice is not just a means to a career, but a vehicle to make a difference in the lives of those in the community who are in need. By utilizing my skills and expertise as a probation officer, victim advocate, community policing advocate, criminal justice reformer, and mentor, I hope to contribute to the betterment of society. The criminal justice system is far from perfect, but by working together, we can make a difference and create a more just and equitable society for all.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Jul 11, 2024. Winners will be announced on Aug 11, 2024.