WACO, Texas (KWTX) They put their lives on the line for McLennan County, and now their children’s lives have been made a little easier.
(Photo by Rissa Shaw)
The Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Association of McLennan County gave scholarships to the sons and daughters of MCSO employees wanting to continue their education Wednesday night.
“It's just a way that we can sort of pay those families back for the sacrifice they make for their loved ones being in law enforcement,” said McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara.
Recipients included Callista Jackson, daughter of Patrol Deputy Michael Jackson, Alicia Hromadka, daughter of Jail Lieutenant Larry Hromadka, Kainen Gonzales, son of Civilian Assistant Silvia Gallegos, Diamond Eubank, daughter of Patrol Captain Chris Eubank, and Alicia Martinez, daughter of Jailer Kristen Jeremy Morales.
"Realizing that there are pluses and positive sides to this career, with the scholarship program, it just kinda gave me a little incentive to show them (my daughters) what else the Sheriff's Office has to offer myself and my family,” said Morales.
The oldest of three, Morales’ daughter, Martinez, doesn’t want to work in a jail like her father, but she does want to help people stay out of them, and will start as a freshman in Baylor University’s School of Social Work next semester with the hope of serving the community like her dad does someday.
“To see that he's proud of what he's doing makes me want to go out and figure out what's going to make me proud of my work so, it's pretty inspiring,” said Martinez.
Martinez earned one of the five, $750 scholarships presented during the association's monthly meeting, the highest number and amount the group has ever awarded.
One of them came straight from the Sheriff, who has personally donated one of the scholarships every year for the last five years to help support law enforcement families.
"I just think it's a very worthy cause, and it's a small token of my appreciation for the job that our employees do and also we can reach out to their children and help them in this way,” said McNamara.
Another scholarship came from Chief Deputy David Kilcrease, a third was donated by the department's Captains, and the final two were sponsored by the association.
With more than 130 members, the SLEAMC has awarded more than $10,000 in scholarships annually since 2010.
Recipients can apply twice as long as they’re a dependent of a MCSO employee, or a current employee, and enrolled in, or accepted to, a college or university.
"It's a wonderful thing," said McNamara.