Scholarship Recipients

Alexander Youngstrom – 2013/2014/2015 Recipient

Proposed Major: Biblical Studies
Parent Line of Duty Death: Kenyon Youngstrom, Officer – CHP
End of Watch: 9/5/12
Alex comes from a large, close-knit family and experienced the sudden loss of his father as a painful shock that affected him, his mother and siblings with equal pain. Officer Kenyon Youngstrom’s death was felt throughout the entire bay area with anger and disbelief towards this unexpected and senseless loss. A simple traffic stop turned into a terrible nightmare for the officer, his partner, family and community alike.

In the aftermath, Alex has been able to forge ahead. With a background in extracurricular activities like being the President of Rodriguez Speech and Debate Team and Captain of the Speech Team, Alex plans to achieve a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from the Master’s College in Southern California. His life-goal is to become a pastor or seminary teacher.

Robert Hopman – 2013/2014 Recipient

Proposed Major: Fire Ecology & Management
Parent Line of Duty Death: William Hopman, Captain – Quincy Vol. Fire Dept.
Final Alarm: 1/11/11
The only son of a widowed mother, Robert Hopman was an active member of his high school and community, alike. He was proprietor of the ‘code blue team’ of his high school, which is designated to be first responders to any medical crisis on campus. Robert’s career ‘plan of action’ is to participate in ROTC while attending the University of Idaho and, upon graduation, go on to be an Officer in the U.S. Marines for the next 8 years. He will then focus on a career in firefighting, having majored in Fire Ecology & Management in college.

Robert’s mother not only lost her husband to a sudden line of duty death, but is also suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, diagnosed when she was 20. Through her steady decline in health and mobility since his father’s death, Robert has been tasked with not only being her caregiver, but shaping himself into the intelligent, committed and honor role student that he’s become. He states, in his own words, “I ask for this scholarship, knowing the needs of many others out there…that you may choose wisely and appropriate efficiently.”

Austin Van Wormer – 2013/2014 Recipient

Double Major: Physics and Computer Science
Parent Line of Duty Death: Rob Van Wormer, Battalion Chief – Cal Fire
Final Alarm: 10/27/12
Though Austin only recently suffered the loss of his father, a Battalion Chief with Cal Fire, he has committed himself to continuing his education and furthering his goals academically. To underscore this point, he won the Mathematics & Verbal Talent Award from Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. He currently attends Columbia College with a mission of transferring to the University of California at Irvine.

Austin has been a model of community service, participating in the Tuolumne County Leadership program, working over 500 hours of volunteer service at the Sonora Regional Medical Center and winning Silver and Gold service awards from Presidents’ Bush and Obama for ‘Service & Civic Participation.’ His aspirations are commendable and we wish him the best of luck.

Brandon Hennessey – 2014/2015 Recipient

Major: Mechanical Engineering, B.S.
Minor: Software Engineering
Parent Line of Duty Death: Greg Hennessey, Engineer – Orange County Fire Authority
Final Alarm: 1/20/14
Brandon was already attending college toward a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering when he received the news of the loss of his father in early 2014.

He continues to be a committed student through it all, having achieved the Dean’s List each quarter since his enrollment in September of 2012. In addition to his academics, Brandon also participates in the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and Drama Club on campus.

Brandon is an Eagle Scout and volunteered at The Children’s Theatre near his home. He is researching an internship this summer in his field of interest and is looking forward to using his education to solve real-world problems.

Dalton Van Wormer – 2016/2017 Recipient

Proposed Major: Undeclared
Parent Line of Duty Death: Rob Van Wormer, Battalion Chief – Cal Fire
Final Alarm: 10/27/12
Since suffering the loss of his father, a Battalion Chief with Cal Fire, in 2012, Dalton was able to persevere in finishing his high school education. He is currently working for a commercial plumbing company and starting community college in the Fall of 2016.

Though he has not yet declared a major, he wants to focus on completing his general education requirements before starting on bachelor’s program.

Dalton enjoys photography, dirt bikes and his Ford pickup truck. His older brother, Austin, was also a Fallen Heroes scholarship recipient back in 2014. We wish them both the best in their future careers.

Melissa Oliver – 2015/2016/2017 Recipient

Major: Criminal Justice
Minor: Psychology
Parent Line of Duty Death: Danny Oliver, Sheriff’s Deputy – Sacramento County
End of Watch: 10/24/14
Melissa’s life goals took a considerable turn when her father was shot and killed during a suspicious vehicle investigation in 2014. She had a prior start with college in 2009 and, following the loss of her father, made the decision to return to school.

She is now committed to following in her father’s footsteps by completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, and, continuing on to becoming a police officer. In Melissa’s own words regarding her father, “He helped families feel safer in the community… and I want to continue his legacy by ensuring that change and protection to communities is upheld.”

We thank you, Melissa, for your commitment to serve your community and wish you the best in this new start toward your future goals.

Brandon Robinson – 2016/2017 Recipient

Proposed Major: Business
Parent Line of Duty Death: Steven Robinson, Pilot – Los Angeles Fire Dept.
Final Alarm: 8/9/15
In the summer of 2015, Brandon woke to discover his father’s lifeless body in their home. He had passed away due to complications from a previous injury in the line of duty. Every since then, Brandon vowed to finish strong in school and continue to college.

He feels that this scholarship is a way for him to continue with what he had promised his father. His dad used to show him how the stock market works and said one day “You like computers and numbers…why don’t you get an economics, marketing, and business degree and then get your license as a stockbroker?” To this day, Brandon has taken this path to heart. “Being a stockbroker for me not only is a very real dream for myself…but also a way to educate myself and put to work what my father has left me.”

His plan is to first attend Moorpark Junior College, then transfer to a four year university after refining his career path further. Good luck, Brandon, and we hope you succeed in your chosen profession.

Ashton Lunger – 2016/2018 Recipient

Major: Community Health/Public Health
Parent Line of Duty Death: Scott Lunger, Sergeant – Hayward Police
End of Watch: 7/22/15
When Ashton was hit by the sudden loss of her father in that fatal shooting in July of 2015, she lost her best friend and ‘go-to person’ for the stress and hardships life can hand to a person. She never imagined a life without him.

She began a ‘Special Grad Program’ at the University of Nevada in the Fall of 2016. Very conscientious of the cost and difficulty this can put on her mother, Ashton is seeking out scholarships to help ease this burden. “I want to prove that my dad and I had a plan that I am going to stick to.” Ashton hopes to transfer to a master’s program in California where she will finish her MBA.

She looks forward to finish her dream education and making her father and mother proud.

Saralyn Lunger – 2016/2017 Recipient

Proposed Major: Communications
Parent Line of Duty Death: Scott Lunger, Sergeant – Hayward Police
End of Watch: 7/22/15
When her father was shot during a traffic stop less than a year ago, Saralyn, her older sister Ashton and her mother were struck by the grief of that sudden loss. In addition to dealing with that pain, some financial realities also became apparent.
Saralyn continues to attend U.C. Santa Barbara, though she worries about the financial hardship to her mother. She is interested in pursuing a career with the police department because she was impressed and inspired by the work that her father did. “In a time where there is negativity associated with the career that my father gave his life for, I hope that I can pursue a career in Public Relations and use it to help shed light on the real men and women behind the badge… bridging the gap in community and police relations.”

Thank you, Saralyn, and we wish you and your family all the best.

Lauren McKnight – 2017 Recipient

Proposed Major: Health Science
Parent Line of Duty Death: Matthew McKnight, Captain – Los Angeles Fire
Final Alarm: 8/12/13
Lauren lost her father, Captain Matthew McKnight when she was only 13 years old, but remembers the values of dedication and hard work that he instilled in her. As a senior at Thousand Oaks High School with a 4.5 GPA, Lauren strives to uphold his legacy and is determined to be the first in her family to earn a college degree. Lauren is interested in pursuing a degree in health Science and ultimately working in the medical field in research, diagnosis, or patient care. She speaks Spanish and is hoping to travel abroad where she will have an opportunity to learn about other cultures and improve her bilingual skills. Lauren has a bright future in front of her and we wish her the best.

Gianna Lucas – 2017 Recipient

Proposed Major: Physical Therapy
Parent Line of Duty Death: Rod Lucas, Deputy – Fresno Co. Sheriff
End of Watch: 10/31/16
Gianna says the accidental death of her father last year was the worst event to happen in her life thus far, but is adamant not to let it “affect her future in a negative way.” With this positive attitude and determination, Gianna has set her sights on finishing at West Hills Community College and entering California State University Monterey Bay where she will major in physical therapy. With her father’s encouragement Gianna has always been physically active participating in many sports in her youth and sparking an interest in sports medicine. Gianna works part time at Starbucks while maintaining an extremely full schedule of classes at West Hills College. She looks forward to finishing her education and ultimately earning her bachelor’s degree from CSU Monterey Bay. We wish you success with your studies and career aspirations Gianna.

Jonathan De Guzman II – 2017/2018 Recipient

Proposed Major: Cinematic Film
Parent Line of Duty Death: Jonathan De Guzman, Officer – San Diego Police
End of Watch: 7/28/16
The death of Jonathan’s father last year was both a shock to him and the deciding event that helped him chose his career path. Jonathan and his dad shared a love for watching and discussing movies, spending time together even at the end of a late shift or busy day. It was his father that knew that Jonathan truly had a passion for the motion picture industry and really wanted to study cinema in college. After much anguish and soul searching Jonathan decided to take his father’s advice and pursue the career that he truly wants. Jonathan is finishing high school with an impressive 4.5 GPA and has pending applications at several colleges and universities. The memories of his father’s encouragement and his desire to pursue a career in the film industry will help Jonathan achieve his dream. We wish you the best, Jonathan, in starting your first year in college.

Michael Foley – 2017/2018 Recipient

Proposed Major: Criminal Justice
Parent Line of Duty Death: Mike Foley, Deputy – Alameda Co. Sheriff’s
End of Watch: 2/23/17
The unexpected death of Michael’s father through a tragic on-duty accident was a devastating loss for the Foley family. However, notwithstanding this tragedy and the financial hardship it has caused, Michael continues with his studies at Azusa Pacific University where he is majoring in Criminal Justice. Michael is an active college freshman and recently organized a panel discussion on campus for officers of color to hear their perspective on the profession and the impact of the Black Lives Matter group. Michael is interested in pursuing an internship with the FBI, but has decided that he will follow “in his father’s footsteps” regardless of what agency he works for as long as it is in law enforcement. We congratulate Michael for his determination and in honoring his father by choosing a career in law enforcement.

Ashley Lucas – 2017/2018 Recipient

Proposed Major: Dental Hygiene
Parent Line of Duty Death: Rod Lucas, Deputy – Fresno Co. Sheriff
End of Watch: 10/31/16
Ashley’s father meant everything to her and his sudden loss late last year took away her “hero”. One of the hardest things Ashley has had to come to terms with is knowing just how much of her life’s accomplishments her dad will miss. Ashley said her father was very supportive of her entering the Dental Hygiene Program at Fresno City College, and was excited for her to get started and achieve her career goals. Ashley is motivated and dedicated to completing the program and says she knows her father will be there with her when she walks across the stage to receive the license and degree. “One day I will be a dental hygienist, and I know that he is smiling down on me from heaven”. We thank you Ashley for your perseverance in continuing your educational and career goals.

Samantha Davis – 2017/2018 Recipient

Proposed Major: Communications
Parent Line of Duty Death: Michael Davis, Jr., Deputy – Placer Co. Sheriff’s
End of Watch: 10/24/14
When her father died in 2014 Samantha was faced with the responsibility of completely supporting herself including paying for all of her school expenses. In her application, Samantha indicated how helpful a scholarship will be in providing funds for school tuition, textbooks and other expenses. Samantha currently attends school full time at Sacramento State University and works two jobs during her summer break, one of which is at Topgolf. The job at Topgolf has instilled in Samantha a new career goal of working in operations and with Topgolf’s “tee up crew”, traveling around the world to start-up new locations. Samantha is looking forward to the numerous future job opportunities she believes her education and work experience will provide. We wish Samantha continued success as she completes her education and begins a professional career.

Madison Youngstrom – 2017/2018 Recipient

Proposed Major: Nursing
Parent Line of Duty Death: Kenyon Youngstrom, Officer – CHP
End of Watch: 9/5/12
Madison’s father was shot and killed during a traf􀏐ic stop just a few days after her thirteenth birthday. After this sudden and violent loss Madison’s life began a downward spiral that lasted for several years. However, the idea of going to college and deciding her own future eventually snapped her out of her depression and she is now moving her life in a positive direction. She plans to enter Solano Community College this fall until she is accepted into a university where she will major in nursing. Her career goal is to become a pediatric nurse “helping kids that are in trouble, in need, or just a checkup.” Madison is determined to prove that she can get beyond this tragedy and make her dad proud. We know she will.

Elizabeth Moorman – 2018 Recipient

Proposed Major: Biology
Parent Line of Duty Death: David Moorman, Captain – Los Angeles Fire
Final Alarm: 2/5/17
Elizabeth lost her father unexpectedly last year, leaving her family in a delicate place financially. Her father
was planning on working through her college years to support her and avoid her being burdened with student loans. Neither of Elizabeth’s parents graduated from a four-year college and her father wanted that more than anything for her. Elizabeth is pursuing a biology Bachelor of Arts degree, with an academic goal of pursuing veterinary school. Her dream to attend veterinary school aligns with her passion for animals which began when she started volunteering at animal shelters. In addition to volunteering at two animal shelters, she also hosted a very successful beach clean-up at Ventura Pier Beach. We wish Elizabeth the very best as she continues pursuing her four-year degree.

Richard Moorman – 2018 Recipient

Proposed Major: Business
Parent Line of Duty Death: David Moorman, Captain – Los Angeles Fire
Final Alarm: 2/5/17
Richard is drawn to a career as a firefighter because he sees it as an opportunity to work in an ever-changing environment, to be able to help the public, and to see a change in the lives of the people he has helped. Richard had a pivotal experience during high school that confirmed for him that he should pursue a career as a firefighter. Completing a 24-hour shift with his father got him “hooked” and has driven him to work his hardest
to reach this goal. Richard is a Ventura County Fire Cadet/Explorer and has completed the Wildland Fire Academy. Richard plans to use this scholarship to pursue additional classes, fire academies and the paramedics program.
We applaud Richard for his passion to serve the public and wish him the very best in his additional schooling.