National Sheriffs' Association (NSA) members Henry Reyes and Jennifer Byrd have been selected as the recipients for two scholarships donated by Columbia Southern University (CSU). An NSA partner since 2007, this is the second consecutive year CSU has awarded scholarships to members of this organization. The university also provides NSA members with tuition discounts, application fee waivers, and other special benefits.
Reyes and Byrd were two of 51 candidates to apply for these scholarships. Reyes was awarded a two-year bachelor's degree scholarship and Byrd received a two-year associate's degree scholarship. These awards include tuition and textbooks costs.
"CSU is committed to providing our nation's law enforcement with the education they need to keep our communities safe," says Robert Mayes, CSU President. "We are proud to offer these scholarships to the NSA, an organization dedicated to raising the level of professionalism in the field of criminal justice."
Applicants were required to submit an application along with a 300- to 500-word essay describing how earning a degree would enhance their career opportunities and benefit their agency.
"I am confident that this scholarship will give me the opportunity to grow as a professional, citizen, and catalyst of change in my department," wrote Reyes. "Like the ever growing definition of a police officer, the school of thought and manner in which we tackle problems has to continue to develop." Sergeant for the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, Reyes has served as a sheriff's deputy for nearly 10 years.
Byrd holds the title of Deputy Communication Clerk with the Lapeer County Sheriff's Department. She described the significance of education in a time when department budgets are shrinking in her essay stating, "As budgets tighten and resources are being stretched, the opportunity to secure this scholarship would allow me to be a more productive employee who could take on additional assignments with the knowledge to complete them."
"We would like to extend a special thanks to each of the NSA members who submitted scholarship entries," said CSU Vice President of Partnership Development and Admissions Chantell Cooley. "Reading your compelling stories truly deepened our dedication to law enforcement education."
One of the nation's first completely online universities, CSU offers degree and certificate programs in a variety of fields including criminal justice, business administration, human resource management, and more. For more information about CSU or future scholarship opportunities, visit www.sheriffs.org or http://www.columbiasouthern.edu.