Christian Campbell, who studied criminal justice at Southwestern Michigan College, has been awarded a $2,000 Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) Dream Scholarship, which is double the amount awarded to recipients last year.
He is among 27 top students who will receive the award nationally to encourage their pursuit of law enforcement/public safety careers by the professional public safety officers of LEEP.
Campbell, one of eight Michigan recipients, has been serving as a Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Explorer with Post 602 since 2010, climbing the ranks as a sergeant and now a captain.
The Lakeshore High School graduate was named 2010 Explorer of the Year and 2015 Lakeshore Auto Shop Student of the Year. He plans to use his LEEP Dream Scholarship to finish his criminal justice degree and attend the police academy at Kellogg Community College.
“I have volunteered at a law enforcement agency for a number of years. I have served countless hours of community service through church or the Sheriff’s Department. I plan on going into law enforcement,” Campbell wrote in his scholarship application.
Campbell volunteers at Blue Roof Church, helping with audio/visual for Sunday services, special events and with the Street Outreach Team putting on community events. He worked at Michigan Department of Natural Resources as a seasonal maintenance worker; a medic providing wheelchair transport for Medic One Ambulance in Benton Harbor; and in loss prevention at JCPenney, making first quartile ranking for one-fourth of all apprehensions during the year.
“Christian worked under my leadership during the 2015 season at Warren Dunes State Park,” wrote Johnny L. Ford, Warren Dunes State Park Unit Supervisor. “Christian brings a great attitude and has the ability to lead from the front as well as take instructions to complete any task from management.”
He was recognized in the top 10 percent for crisis negotiation at the National Law Enforcement Exploring Conference and graduated from three St. Louis-area Law Enforcement Explorer Association Training Academies at Maryville University, Babler State Park Outdoor Educational Center and Beaumont Scout Reservation.
Other scholarship winners include: Caitlin Cardenas of Arizona; Nautika Harris of Arkansas; Jennifer Hong and Jose Ruiz of California; Yeraldi Morales and Graciela Popoca of Illinois; Tyler Madden of Kentucky; Brennan Blackstone of Maine; Mason Deible, Bradley Duck Jr., Caleb Fort, Meleigha Herington, Austin Lynema, Erik Rittenger and Marybeth Gormley of Michigan; Laura Rognerud of Montana; Michaela Lawrence of Nebraska; Joseph Hill of Nevada; Cali Martinez, Kyle McCarthy and Brook Pi of New York; Jazmin Tucker of Ohio; Amanda Condon of Texas; Evan Guin of Tennessee; Alexander Braatz of Washington; and Michaela McDonald of Wisconsin.
In its 13th year, LEEP has awarded some $216,000 in Dream scholarships to students showing a demonstrated interest in public service/law enforcement careers. The non-profit public safety group’s scholarship program is made possible by a growing list of national supporters.