Awards of Excellence

Awards of Excellence logo

Awards of Excellence

Awards of Excellence 2022 applications will be accepting at the end of January 2022. Check back for an application link.

The First Responders Foundation is proud to announce the Awards of Excellence 2021 Winners.

Congratulations to the following students who have been selected as recipients of the First Responders Foundation Awards of Excellence 2021.

Jordyn Bahl – Papillion LaVista High School
Mikayla Bossman – Gretna High School
Evyn Eblen – Treynor High School
Zailey Elkins – Papillion Lavista South High School
Braeden Haptonstall – Westside High School
Carter Hinman – Gretna High School
Whitney Holaday – CAM High School
Morgan Holtz – AHSTW Community School District
Wayne Dexter Hudson II – Millard North High School
Mason Ingram – Bellevue West High School
Alivia Jimenez – Bennington High School
Ashley Kelly – Burke High School
Carolyn Klein – Mercy High School
Jacob Martin – Logan-Magnolia High School
Emma McClannan – Millard South High School
Nathan McCoy – Millard North High School
Gage Elias Morrell – Papillion LaVista High School

Krista Olson – Treynor High School
Mia Olson – Millard West High School
Grace Oseka – Papillion LaVista South High School
Gracie Rock – Platteview High School
Cadence Russell – Millard South High School
Dylan Sash – Millard West High School
Sophia Schlapia – Papillion LaVista High School
Erin Schultz – Glenwood Senior High School
Cassidy Smith – Westside High School
Camille Streit – Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School
Nicholas M. Swanson – Creighton Prep
Paige Terry – Omaha Central High School
Delaney Waterman – Treynor High School
Grace Werner – Skutt Catholic High School
Jacob Whitney – Bishop Neumann Catholic High School
Jaylin Woodward – Glenwood Senior High School

We thank all of the outstanding students who applied for the award this year. The committee was impressed with the large number of exceptional applicants.

The recipients represent families from the Omaha Police Department, Omaha Fire Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Papillion Fire Department, Papillion Police Department, LaVista Police Department, Council Bluffs Police Department, and the Council Bluffs Fire Department.

Special thanks to the following donors who make this award possible:

Chuck & Karen Sederstrom
Bob & Betsy Nelson
Tim & Jonna Holland
Keith & Stephanie Basham
Al & Teri Batschelet
Art & Jenny Jetter
Carol Stolp
Susan Weir

Corporate Donors:
Northwest Rotary Club of Omaha
Farmers Insurance
NCAA Men’s College World Series

Awards of Excellence logo

Behind the Award

Every spring the Foundation presents Awards of Excellence to students who demonstrate good character, balanced achievement, and outstanding commitment to the community. The recipients of this prestigious award receive $500 and recognition at an annual Awards of Excellence reception.

The First Responders Foundation started the Awards of Excellence in 2017 to acknowledge outstanding high school seniors who are children of first responders.

Every year the accomplishments of these exceptional students are remarkable. The award is not given to those with just good grades, but to students who are involved in their school and community, family activities, who volunteer and work with nonprofits, and have impressive work histories. These students have exceeded expectations and give society hope and confidence for the future.

Part of the mission of the First Responders Foundation is to serve and honor all first responders and their families. Most parents don’t wear bullet-proof vests or fire-resistant clothing and breathing apparatus or take life and death calls when at work.

Children of first responders live a different life not knowing if their loved one will return home at the end of their shift or what emotional stress they may endure. They also learn to live with parents that often miss special events and holidays, because the life of a public servant is 24/7. The Foundation believes it takes a special person to become a first responder and their whole family shares in their service and sacrifice.


Students must:

  • be graduating high school seniors
  • have “C” or higher grade point average
  • have a parent who is a first responder, paid or non-paid, that works in Douglas, Sarpy or Pottawattamie Counties in NE and IA

Demonstrate good character, balanced achievement, outstanding commitment to and interest in furthering their success.

The recipients will be selected by the First Responders Foundation Awards of Excellence Selection Committee. If selected they must agree to allow the First Responders Foundation to use their name and photo. There are a limited number of Awards of Excellence awards.

How to Apply

Applications must be printed and mailed to the First Responders Foundation.
Students are required to submit an application with supporting documentation detailing:

  • High school activities
  • Achievements and awards
  • Community involvement
  • Accomplishments
  • Personal essay for the selection committee to learn more about the applicant. Please include future career and/or vocation goals.

Past Recipients


Awards of Excellence are made possible thanks to the following donors who fully-funded one or more of the 2021 awards:

  • Chuck & Karen Sederstrom
    Bob & Betsy Nelson
    Tim & Jonna Holland
    Keith & Stephanie Basham
    Al & Teri Batschelet
    Art & Jenny Jetter
    Carol Stolp
    Susan Weir

    Corporate Donors:
    Northwest Rotary Club of Omaha
    Farmers Insurance
    NCAA Men’s College World Series

Brought to you in part by:

Farmers Insurance logo
Rotary Club of Omaha Northwest logo
Nelson Murphy Insurance & Investments logo
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