graduate, Matthew Casciani '12, was recently honored by the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL) with a $7,500 educational scholarship.
The mission of the LAPPL is to vigilantly protect, promote, and improve the working conditions, legal rights, compensation and benefits of Los Angeles police officers. The organization, under the motto "Protecting Those Who Protect Others," offers scholarship funds for members' dependents.
This year a committee of 20 police officers reviewed and scored the essays from 48 dependent applicants. The committee took into account a variety of factors to include grades, community service, background, and social behavior. Casciani impressed the board of 20 officers who judged his essay and, consequently, he was selected as the top award winner from the candidate pool. Below is the essay question presented to the applicants and a summary of Casciani's response.
The question: Instead of heading off to college, you have been given an opportunity of a lifetime. You will be able to spend the next year anywhere in the world. You will be given room & board and three meals a day. But there is a catch. You must volunteer your time with a group, organization, charity or cause in that country of your choosing.
Tell us the following:
- Where would you go?
- Explain who you would be volunteering your time with? And why?
- Now, prepare a list of goals/expectations and how you expect to accomplish them during your year long stay. Discuss openly of any fears or challenges you expect to encounter and how you would deal with them.
- Finally, how will your experience benefit the group and/or yourself moving forward?
Casciani's response: The LAPPL essay topic intrigued me immediately. As soon as I read it I knew that I would write about an issue that touches me at the heart. Sadly, many societies have little patience or understanding for those who have learning disabilities. As a person with a diagnosed disability myself (auditory processing disorder), I am keenly aware of how blessed I am to have been born in the United States. Without all of the support I have had, I am certain I could not have accomplished nearly as much as I have thus far. Japan is one such country where the less than perfect are outcast and ostracized. It also happens to be the country of my ancestors. I chose to write about going to Japan to teach and to inspire those who feel socially defeated. I want them to know that there is hope and that there are societies and people who do care. They are not alone. I feel that my success has allowed me to look back and develop empathy for those less fortunate. As such, I hope to live a life where I can be a role model and make a difference in the lives of others.
The preceeding information was submitted to Patch by St. Francis spokesman Andy Burghdorf.