Irving, Texas â€“ For the first time in the history of the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) Youth Scholarship Award program, two students have tied for first place. Jordan Biltoft of Spokane, Wash., and Ryan Patton, of Yorba Linda, Calif., were this yearâ€™s winners and will receive $5,000 each.
Scholarship recipients are chosen on a combination of academic achievement, national test scores, extracurricular participation and an essay on â€œHow Your Father, Mother or Guardian Helps Us Secure Our Community.â€
Biltoft, son of Fire Equipment Operator Leigh Biltoft, and a graduate of East Valley High School, plans to attend Eastern Washington University.
In his essay, Biltoft wrote about his memories of 9/11. â€œI will always remember waking up on that day in September 2001, watching all of those brave men and women, now called heroes, rush into those burning towers while everyone else tried to get out. I knew for certain that my Dad would have been rushing in to help and save as many lives as he could if he had been there,â€ he wrote. â€œThere is no question in my mind that our communities are safer and more secure because of men and women who serve as firefighters.â€
A graduate of Esperanza High School in Anaheim, Calif., Patton is the son of Charles Patton, deputy sheriff for Orange County, Calif. He plans to attend Stanford University.
In his essay, Patton wrote about the roots of good and evil and the role of law enforcement. â€œBut whether one believes man is born evil or becomes evil, the fact is that our world is plagued by violence, hate, and cruelty. The only method of control is through government, and more specifically, law enforcement agencies,â€ he wrote.
Created in 1996 to promote goodwill among the electronic systems industry and police and fire officials, this program provides college scholarship awards to deserving sons and daughters of police and fire officials. Traditionally the award is split between first and second place winners with each receiving $6,500 and $3,500 respectively. Because of the tie, the association decided to split the $10,000 evenly between the two winners.
â€œWe in the security industry know our products would not be nearly as effective without the hardworking public safety professionals who support them. I am proud of this program and of the support it returns to those professionals and their families. It is a real treat to have two equally outstanding individuals to honor this year. Both Ryan and Jordan have bright futures ahead of them and I wish them all the best,â€ said NBFAA President Scot Colby.
Several of NBFAAâ€™s chartered chapters participate in the national award program and conduct state-wide contests. In addition to California and Washington, the other state association scholarship winners were: Ashley Kennedy, Enfield, Conn.; Kallyn Jones, Leesville, La.; Ashley Rumple, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Arden Beesley, Nutley, N.J; Philip Viglione, Pen Argyl, Pa.; and Jessica Hill, Brentwood, Tenn.