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HCC hosts annual Scholarship Donor/Recipient Tea event

May 03, 2002|BY TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Washington County Sheriff Charles Mades said Thursday the benefits of awarding scholarships to young people interested in law enforcement and criminal justice careers are two-fold.

The scholarships help students realize their higher education goals, and law enforcement agencies are given the opportunity to add educated officers to their ranks, he said.

Mades was one of the speakers at Hagerstown Community College's Scholarship Donor/Recipient Tea. The reception is sponsored by the college and the HCC Foundation to thank scholarship donors for their contributions.

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"It works really well," Mades said of the Sheriff's Scholarship after the reception. "We're policing a very educated society. We have to depend on some of the young people with a college degree."

The Sheriff's Department awards $1,000 worth of scholarships to HCC students.

The scholarships are funded through the Maryland Sheriff's Institute, which donates the money to each of the state's 24 sheriff's departments. The awards are given to sophomores studying criminal justice who have successfully completed their first year of college and are based on financial need, Mades said.

The Sheriff's Scholarship is one of more than 200 available at HCC. During this school year, 251 students received scholarships totaling $186,038.

College President Norman Shea said the school's total scholarship endowment is approaching $5 million.

David Barnhart, senior vice president of Hagerstown Trust Co., said the bank awards scholarships to help foster growth in young people.

"If our efforts are in any way helping to continue that, it means our mission is on its way to being accomplished," Barnhart said.

HCC Foundation President Pete Low said the college's donors have changed the lives of students by giving them the means to afford an education.

"It is a possibility that you, too, can be a donor and help somebody in changing their lives," Low said.

Student Alexis Gregson, 26, said the scholarship she received came at a time she was ready to give up her goal of going to college because of financial constraints.

Gregson is married to Eric, a Maryland State Police trooper, and has two sons, Eric Jr., 8, and Nicholas, 3. She received the Maria N. Giannaris Memorial Scholarship in January.

Gregson, who is studying computer information systems, said she would never be able to thank the Giannaris family enough for providing the scholarship.

"These are people who didn't even know me ... and were willing to help me get an education," Gregson said.

She said the scholarships help students boost self-esteem, confidence and pride and make personal growth possible.

"I was just really grateful," Gregson said after the reception. "I just started to cry."

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