|Growing up with a dad who is a firefighter, I have always admired the work that First Responders do. Seeing the brave men and women who serve our communities has helped me to also be passionate about helping others, and I hope to continue this passion as a nurse. Adam|
Growing up in a law enforcement family is a very unique experience. My dad is my biggest hero. He has been a police officer since I was one year old. He has put his life on the line every day for the past eighteen years to serve the community he took an oath to protect. Every day, when my dad puts on his police uniform he chooses to positively impact the community. For as long as I can remember, he has shown me what it means to be selfless and hardworking. Cassandra
|My father’s career as a first responder has changed my life. My father went to the police academy when I was a only a toddler and at first, it was really hard for my family to adjust. It took me a long time to realize what being a deputy means to my father. His dedication to protecting people and following his carer aspirations at the same time has inspired me to try my best to do the same…. I hope to be able to help people in dire need around the world and make our world a better place to live in for everyone. Elaine|
These quotes are a sample from the applications submitted for the Awards of Excellence and show what an impact first responders make not only in the community but in their own families. The committee was impressed by the outstanding applicants and their desire to serve others and make a difference in the world.
Congratulations to the following students who have been honored as recipients of the First Responders Foundation 2023 Awards of Excellence.
Juliana Anderson – Gretna
Elaine Arko – Bellevue West
Ellie Bartsch-Bang – Westside
Blane Boehmer – Bennington
Aidan Bosanek – West Monona
Madison Bossman – Gretna
Noelle Brannen – Millard West
Evelyn Brilz – Papillion LaVista
Kylee Brown – Lewis Central
Sebastian Caniglia – Missouri Valley
Madeline Condon – Westside
Piper Connelly – Elkhorn North
Arianna Curd – Northwest
Alaric Eaton – Burke
Ziana Elkins – Papillion LaVista South
Haylee Evers – Papillion LaVista South
Anthony Feldman – Westside
Brady Fitzpatrick – Papillion LaVista South
Reagan Folger – Papillion LaVista
Reese Folger – Papillion LaVista
Madison Grosse – Fremont
Gabriel Hardisty – Gross Catholic
Megan Hiykel – Papillion LaVista
Caleb Jashinske – First Baptist
Madison Latschar – Papillion LaVista South
Gabrielle Lewis – Conestoga
Caylie Loewenstein – Millard West
Adam McCaw – Skutt Catholic
Jillian Menning – Gretna
Sophia Messerschmidt – Missouri Valley
Nathaniel Oehler – Mount Michael
Cassandra Peatrowsky – Guardian Angles Central
Brett Perkins – Gretna
McKenna Pojar – Douglas County West
Kayla Preston – Millard North
Zoe Schuka – Gretna
Patrick Stolinski – Millard North
Bridget Swan – Elkhorn North
Zachary Swanson – Creighton Prep
Randi Szemplenski – Millard West
Montana Thompson – Bryan
Jolene Trumble – Platteview
Lily Bei Warner – Westside
Brenna Whitten – Elkhorn South
Shealie Wiebers – Papillion LaVista South
Haley Wilwerding – Papillion LaVista
Dalton Witt – Elkhorn
Awards Of Excellence
We honor these students for being committed to the community and volunteerism, and for having good character and balanced achievement in their lives. Each student was required to submit an application and an essay. The recipients were selected by the Awards of Excellence Committee.
As a group, they have excelled in academics, vocal and instrumental music, marching band, various sports, yearbook, theater, foreign language, art, dance, pageants, student council, speech, and many organizations and clubs.
They have volunteered at food pantries, blood drives, hospitals, and Shop with a Cop, have helped the disabled, elderly, and children, worked at camps, zoos, and places of worship, and assisted hundreds of organizations. Some of them are already volunteer firefighters.
Their future goals are diverse and focus on serving others such as police officers and firefighters, criminal justice, entrepreneurs, diversity, equity and inclusion careers, the military, marine biology, funeral directors, pilots, dentistry and medicine, musicians, engineers, international studies, forensics, psychology, cyber security and more. As individuals and as a group they are and will continue to make an impact in the community.
Each of these high school seniors has a parent who is a first responder serving at one of the following departments:
Bellevue Police Department, Douglas County Corrections, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Omaha Police Department, Omaha Fire Department, Papillion Fire Department, Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office, Springfield Volunteer Fire Department, and Waterloo Fire and Rescue Department.
The students were recognized at an Awards Ceremony and each student received a certificate and a $500 check.
2023 Awards of Excellence Recipients
The Awards of Excellence are made possible thanks to the following donors who fully-funded one or more of the awards.
Bob & Betsy Nelson
Chuck & Karen Sederstrom
Keith & Stephanie Basham
Tim & Jonna Holland
Nelson Murphy Insurance & Investments
Northwest Rotary Club of Omaha
Paul Davis Restoration
Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT)
NCAA Men’s College World Series