Merit Scholarship Competition

There are approximately 3,500 LAFD employees. Each year, children of these employees who are high school seniors and college freshman are eligible to apply for the LAFDSF Merit Scholar Competition. Since 2007, the LAFDSF receives completed Merit Scholar Applications from approximately 45 qualified applicants each year. (See the attached copy of the current Merit Scholar Award Application.) When the Applications are complete, and the required accompanying documentation is available, the Selection Committee (the civilian members of the LAFDSF Board) reviews the material and ranks the candidates. Based on these reviews, a smaller list of Applicants is selected for personal interviews. After the interviews, the current year Merit Scholars are notified. Individuals who are interviewed but do not receive Merit Scholar Awards are designated as Runners-up and receive one-time grants. All these scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit. The single most important factor is academic achievement, but the Selection Committee also considers other relevant criteria, including personal character and extracurricular accomplishments. The Selection Committee does not consider the financial need of the Applicants, or whether they have qualified for other grants or scholarships. The Los Angeles Fire Department has no role in the selection of Merit Scholars.

 

 

ADDITIONAL PRIZES

 

Best Essay Competition: All Merit Scholar applicants are required to complete an essay as a part of their Application. In the past, these essays have provided the Selection Committee with critical insight into the lives and ambitions of the applicants and have aided immeasurably in the committee’s efforts to identify the most qualified applicants. In recognition of the time and effort the applicants dedicate to preparing the essays, the Selection Committee has established an additional award for the “Best Essay” of $5,000. The winner need not be selected as a Merit Scholar to win the Best Essay Competition, but must submit a completed Application Form to be eligible.

Community Service Award: This award recognizes an applicant for their tremendous effort to selflessly donate their time helping others, local and abroad. The LAFD Foundation has generously sponsored a $2,500 award for the individual who most exemplifies this quality. 

 

INSTRUCTIONS TO MERIT SCHOLAR APPLICANTS

 
  1. Application. All applicants are required to complete Sections 1 through 8 of the Merit Scholar Application Form. Please type your information clearly.
    1. Section 1 requires you to provide some basic information about you and the colleges to which you have applied and your eligibility as a Merit Scholar Applicant. 
    2. Section 2 asks you to list all the Scholarships, Grants, Honors and Awards you have received.
    3. Section 3 asks you to indicate the various extracurricular activities in which you have been involved and requires the contact information for the individuals who have supervised your participation in these activities.
    4. Section 4,5 and 6 require that you write an essay and respond to a few questions about you and your personal opinions. This section of the application is your opportunity to elaborate on some of your experiences and accomplishments, but, more importantly, to describe to the committee which factors you feel have been critical to your motivation and success.
    5. Section 7 requires you to submit your standardized test score results as well as the names of the individuals that you have asked to supply your letters of recommendation.
    6. Section 8 requires you and a parent sign a statement that attests to the accuracy of the information you have provided in your Application and to your intention to enroll in a full-time accredited college program in the upcoming school year.
       
  2. School Transcript. Arrange for an official high school transcript to be sent to the address below in Section 4.  Applicants who have already enrolled in college should also provide a current college transcript.
     
  3. Two Letters of Recommendations and Recommendation (Grid) Form. The people you ask to write recommendations on your behalf should know you well.  At least one must be a teacher or counselor, and neither may be a relative. Give each individual who has agreed to write a recommendation for you a copy of the Instructions for Individuals Providing Recommendations and the Recommendation (Grid) Form and a stamped envelope addressed to the location below in number 4.
     
  4. Mailing Address. The application, transcript, recommendation letters and verification form all should be emailed to june.andrade@lacity.org or mailed to:

    Ms. June Andrade
    c/o The LAFD Scholarship Fund
    1700 Stadium Way, Suite 101
    Los Angeles, California 90012
     
  5. Submission Deadline. The deadline for submitting all materials relating to your Application is April 1.

    YOUR APPLICATION IS NOT COMPLETE AND WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED BY THE SELECTION COMMITTEE UNLESS ALL REQUIRED ELEMENTS OF YOUR APPLICATION HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED BY APRIL 1.
     
  6. Notification. In April, applicants will be informed of the result of the Selection Committee’s deliberations.  Finalists will be asked to schedule an interview with the committee to take place during April or May on a date determined by the committee.
     
  7. Selection. Shortly following the completion of these interviews, Merit Scholars and runners-up will be announced.
 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR INDIVIDUALS PROVIDING RECOMMENDATIONS

 
The LAFD Scholarship Fund annually selects Merit Scholars from among applicants that are a) dependent children or step-children of active or fallen LAFD sworn employees who have completed probation and b) high school seniors or college freshmen who will be enrolled as full- time students in an accredited four-year college or university in the upcoming academic year starting next fall. The Merit Scholar awards are cash grants of up to $30,000 ($7,500 per year while the student continues to be enrolled and making normal progress toward a four-year college degree). Runners-up receive one-time grants of $5,000.
 
These scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit. The single most important factor is academic achievement, but the all-civilian Selection Committee also considers other relevant criteria, including personal character and extracurricular accomplishments. To assist in the difficult task of choosing winners, the Selection Committee requires each Applicant to obtain two recommendations – at least one from a teacher or counselor, but neither from a relative. 
 
You have been identified by an Applicant as being willing to provide one such recommendation. The recommendation form has two parts. The first is a ranking grid in which you are asked to evaluate certain skills of the Applicant in relation to other high school seniors and college freshmen you have known. Where you have ranked the Applicant in categories at the highest level, you must provide specific examples or justification for the ranking. In the second part of the recommendation, which should be in the form of a letter to the Selection Committee, you should as a minimum (a) indicate how long and in what capacity you have known the applicant and (b) highlight ways in which the Applicant has distinguished himself or herself among peers. We are most interested in specific examples of commendable behavior (e.g., respect for others, honesty, integrity, personal accountability) demonstrated by the Applicant and observed personally by you. All communications with the Selection Committee will be kept confidential. The Board of the LAFD Scholarship Fund understands the time and effort associated with preparing a recommendation of this sort and thanks you for your participation and assistance in our evaluation process.
 
If you have any problems or questions please feel free to contact June Andrade at the LAFD Scholarship Fund by phone at (213) 435-6095 or by email at june.andrade@lacity.org. Signed Recommendations should be sent directly to Ms. Andrade by email, by fax at (213) 485-8478 or by regular mail to:
 
Ms. June Andrade
c/o The LAFD Scholarship Fund 
1700 Stadium Way, Suite 101 
Los Angeles, CA 90012
 
APPLICATIONS ARE NOT CONSIDERED COMPLETE UNLESS ALL ELEMENTS OF AN APPLICATION, INCLUDING RECOMMENDATIONS, HAVE BEEN SUBMITTED BY APRIL 1. THE SELECTION COMMITTEE WILL NOT REVIEW INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS.
 
If you have any problems or questions please feel free to contact June Andrade at the LAFD Scholarship Fund by phone at (213) 435-6095 or by email at june.andrade@lacity.org. Signed Verification Forms should be sent directly to Ms. Andrade by email, by fax at (213) 485-8478 or by regular mail to the address below:
 
Ms. June Andrade
c/o The LAFD Scholarship Fund 
1700 Stadium Way, Suite 101 
Los Angeles, CA 90012
 
 

 

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