Monday, June 1, 2015

Sheriff Presents Scholarship Award To Local Graduates

Sheriff Kevin Rambosk presented the annual William A. Christian Scholarship award to two local students Monday morning. Mrs. Lois Fortunato, mother of deceased Deputy William A. Christian, established the scholarship in 2001 to honor her son and his commitment to education.

Deputy Christian was killed in a tragic single-car automobile accident in Lee County on September 7, 2000. He was a member of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office from May 14, 1996 until the date of his death. Deputy Christian served as a law enforcement officer in New York and as a Jail Deputy in Pasco County prior to joining the CCSO. He also served in the U.S. Navy from 1971 until 1981.

Each year, children and grandchildren of current or retired members of the CCSO are invited to apply for one of the two $2,500 scholarships. Applicants must be enrolled to attend an accredited college or university as a full time student. The applicants must have a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher. In addition to GPA, applicants are selected based upon SAT scores, participation in school/community life outside of class requirements, demonstration of positive character traits of kindness, respect and good citizenship as well as written description of why he/she should be given the award.

The 2015 William A. Christian scholarship awards were presented to:

Brianna Benitez, a 2015 graduate of Palmetto Ridge High School who will attend the University of Florida. During high school she was the founding member and President of Academic World Quest; she was also the secretary for the Science National Honor’s Society, President of 4-H, the representative of her junior year class and member of Key Club and Naples Bear Rugby club. She has completed 394 volunteer hours through a school and various places such as Collier County Parks and Recreation, St. Vincent DePaul’s thrift store and food bank. At UF, Benitez plans to study Biomedical Engineering and to become an officer in the United States Army.

Benitez is the daughter of Sgt. Nicole Minick, a 15-year member of the CCSO.

Erika Bishop, a 2015 graduate of Gulf Coast High School who will attend the University of Florida. During high school she was a member of the National Honor Society, Key Club, Green Club, the Collier County Laureate Program and Youth Leadership Collier. Bishop was a counselor-in-training at Collier Parks and Recreation, volunteered with the Naples Art Association and was a Student Clerk at the CCSO. Bishop plans on pursuing a career in Biomedical Engineering.

Bishop is the daughter of Captain Rod Bishop, a 23-year member of the CCSO.