Crime Stoppers rewards students

Published 6:55 pm Saturday, September 13, 2014

Two local students received rewards from Crime Stoppers this week — but not for turning in a tip.

Sanfara Christian and Alex Ramirez, both students at Beaufort County Community College, were awarded $500 scholarships for the fall semester by the crime stopping organization. Christian and Ramirez are the first students chosen for the scholarships, which will be awarded to two BCCC criminal justice students each semester.

The new Crime Stoppers scholarship, combined with a scholarship from the Dr. Gordon Hoffman Criminal Justice Endowment — awarded to a law enforcement officer seeking to further his or her education with a degree in criminal justice — means those seeking a career in law enforcement have more opportunity for a financial boost.

“We’ve never been able to help this many criminal justice students at one time,” said Judy Jennette, BCCC Foundation director. “This is a much more significant assistance to our students.”

Each year, 15 to 20 students take part in the criminal justice program at BCCC, many of whom transfer to a four-year school; all of whom plan to pursue a career in law enforcement, Jennette said.

The Crime Stoppers board gathered at King Chicken in Washington last week to award the scholarships to Ramirez and Christian.

For Christian, the scholarship is helping her fulfill a lifelong dream.

“I always wanted to be a police officer, ever since I was a little girl,” Christian said. “This is something I’ve always wanted to do but never had the means or opportunity to do it.”

The 41-year-old from Eastern Shore, Va., moved to the area when her husband’s job brought them to eastern North Carolina. She said she sees the scholarship as a huge help in purchasing school supplies and books.

The Crime Stoppers scholarship is funded by the organization’s annual golf tournament, other fundraisers and donations, according to Ed Hamrick, board chair.