The Broward County Police Benevolent Association presented awards to the winners of its annual college scholarship essay contest at its quarterly Board of Directors’ meeting held on July 10, 2019.

The organization awarded top scholarships for the 2019-2020 academic year to five students of the organization’s law enforcement members. The essay topic for the applicants was, “When it comes to active shootings in our schools, the elected officials still seem to have more questions than answers. If you were the superintendent of a school system, would you treat threats against a school as a criminal justice issue or a mental health issue, and what safety procedures and/or policies would you implement that would make our schools safer for everyone, without infringing on individual rights?”

This year’s first place winner is Caroline Volpe of Boca Raton. Caroline received a $1,200 scholarship, which will be applied toward her education at Florida State University. The first place scholarship award is sponsored by Matthew Oppedisano of the Wellington, Florida-based Law Enforcement Retirement Advisory Service.

The second place winner was Nicolas Marino of Hollywood. Nicolas received a $600 scholarship, donated by Richard Applefeld, and will be applied toward his education at Florida State University.

The remaining winners each received scholarships in the amount $500 from the Broward County PBA.

The third place recipient was Courtney Donato of Fort Lauderdale. Courtney will be attending Florida Atlantic University. Elias Klein of Eau Claire, Wisc., earned the fourth place award, and will be continuing his education at Lawrence University. The fifth place winner was Jason Shimpeno of Pembroke Pines. Jason will be attending the University of South Florida.

The Broward County PBA Annual Scholarship Award was founded in 2003 as part of The HOPE Fund’s mission to assist the children of law enforcement members in their effort to attend college. To be eligible for the scholarship, participants must be the son or daughter of a Broward County PBA member in good standing and plan to be a part-time or full-time student at an accredited two- or four-year institution of higher learning.