Ascension graduates awarded scholarships

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
APSO scholarship winner Austin Kidder of Dutchtown High School.

Ascension Parish high schools held their 2016 senior graduations last week. Throughout the school year, various students were awarded numerous scholarships for their academic success, including the first Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office Scholarship, the annual Dawn Shivers Memorial Scholarship and the Louisiana Sheriff's Scholarship Program.

APSO Scholarship

The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office awarded $500 scholarships to three Ascension Parish graduating seniors. The scholarship money is designed to be used towards the cost of tuition, fess or books.

The recipients are the first to receive this type of scholarship that was founded by Sheriff Wiley earlier this year. The recipients are Kathrine Costanza of St. Amant High School, Austin Kidder of Dutchtown High School and Tyarise Stevenson from Donaldsonville High School.

Dawn Shivers Memorial Scholarship

Three students in Ascension Parish are the recipients of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office Dawn Shiver’s Memorial Scholarship. Antonia Asher from East Ascension High School was awarded $1,500 while Grace Reames from St. Joseph Catholic School was awarded $500.

Ascension Parish Sheriff Jeff Wiley established the scholarship fund in honor of Dawn Shivers, a retired employee of the APSO who passed away in 2013 after a long battle with cancer.

Students are selected based on qualities of academic achievement, leadership, and character. Students must attach a transcript and write an essay on someone who has influenced them.

The purpose of the Dawn Shivers Memorial Scholarship fund is to honor her sweet spirit and continue her legacy as a vessel through Christ and to also encourage others who may be fighting the same cancer battles to keep pushing and stay strong,” Wiley said.

Shivers started her career with APSO in 1998 as a correctional officer at the Ascension Parish Jail. She acted as a correctional officer for more than 10 years while also serving a dual role in transportation.

In March 2011, Shivers joined the Inmate Programs Division at the jail to provide support to the instructors and tutored inmates.

Dawn was always professional and dedicated to the program,” Wiley said. “Her interactions with the inmates were always encouraging and positive. She played all the roles of a good steward in that she was a counselor, a guide, and teacher to the many inmates she helped towards them earning their GED while incarcerated. Dawn believed that the benefit of education, among the other rehabilitation efforts, would help them while they are incarcerated and after they are released.”

Louisiana Sheriff's Scholarship Program

Sheriff Jeff Wiley announced that Kole Guerin, a student at St. Amant High School, has been named the recipient of a $500 academic scholarship from the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Scholarship Program for the 2015-2016 school year.

The Sheriff’s Scholarship is made possible by the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Honorary Membership Program (LSHMP). Louisiana Sheriffs’ provide scholarships to graduating high school seniors from each parish where the Sheriff is an affiliate of the Program.

Qualities such as academic achievement, leadership and character are considered in making selections of Sheriffs’ scholarship recipients. The only limitations are that applicants be permanent residents of Louisiana, scholarships be utilized in higher education within the State and students be enrolled as full-time, undergraduate students. Scholarships will be awarded in 63 parishes throughout the state.

Academic awards by the Louisiana Sheriffs’ Scholarship Program to Louisiana students demonstrate what the LSHMP is all about,” Wiley said. “This is one of our finest accomplishments that invests in Louisiana’s future and gives something back to our community. This would not be possible without the kind and generous support of Ascension Parish’s Honorary Members.”