By Lt. Sarah Watson
On Aug. 12, the California Rehabilitation Center Employee Association (or CRCEA) awarded $3,500 in scholarships to nine worthy high school and college students. The CRCEA Scholarship Fund was established to recognize outstanding high school and college students who have a solid Grade Point Average (GPA), are active in their community, and who have the determination and drive for excellence. The scholarship is open to the children and/or spouse of California Rehabilitation Center (or CRC) employees.
This year’s high school recipients represent some of the best and brightest from their respective schools. The scholarships were awarded to the following high school students:
Nova Gauss is the daughter of Dental Assistant Devra Beebe. She recently graduated from Heritage High School with a GPA of 3.8 and will be attending the University of California, Irvine, where she will be majoring in criminology. Nova plans to work in the field of forensics.
Miranda Camargo is the daughter of Correctional Officer Manuel Camargo. Miranda graduated from Eleanor Roosevelt High School with a GPA of 4.5. She will be attending Pomona College where she will be majoring in political science. Following graduation, Miranda plans to attend law school.
Samuel Tampkins is the son of Warden Cynthia Y. Tampkins. He graduated from Wilmer Amina Carter High School with a GPA of 4.12. Samuel will be attending the University of California, Santa Cruz majoring in computer science. Samuel plans to become a computer programmer.
Megan Swafford is the daughter of Senior Librarian William Swafford. Megan graduated from Riverside STEM Academy High School with a GPA of 4.38. In the fall, Megan will be studying abroad at the University of East Anglia, a research university in Norwich, England where she will pursue a degree in environmental science. Following graduate school, Megan plans to work as a researcher or environmental consultant.
Cailey Martin is the daughter of Information Technology Specialist Michael Martin. Cailey was homeschooled achieving a GPA of 4.0. She will be attending California Baptist University majoring in Kinesiology and minoring in behavioral science. Cailey plans to become a firefighter paramedic.
Emiliana Gonzalez is the daughter of Correctional Officer Daniel Gonzalez. Emiliana graduated from Citrus Valley High School with a GPA of 3.72. She will be attending California Baptist University majoring in nursing. She plans to become a pediatric nurse.
The CRCEA also awarded scholarships to three full-time college students. In addition to being academically sound, college applicants were required to write an essay about what the CDCR could do to help reduce the number of Correctional Officers committing suicide each year. Ten applications were submitted for consideration and the following three college students were recipients of a CRCEA Scholarship:
Ondrea Livingston is an Office Assistant at CRC and she is the daughter of Senior Accounting Officer Olga Livingston. Ondrea is a junior at Cal Poly Pomona where she has a GPA of 3.48. In her essay, Ondrea recommended three
cost-effective strategies that are supported by research such as adding simple incentives, encouraging social connections and incorporating more outreach programs as a way to address Correctional Officer suicides.
Andria Davis is the daughter of Lieutenant Brian Davis and Information Technology Supervisor Christina Davis. Andria just completed her freshman year at Cornell College where she earned a GPA of 3.16. Andria proposed in order to eliminate the stigma of therapy being “weak” among officers; CDCR should mandate a bi-annual psych evaluation and annual well-being check. Andria contends by mandating these evaluations, CDCR would be able to detect changes in mental health and hopefully reduce the number of suicides each year.
Dauriel Williams is the daughter of Office Technician Typing Tara Allen-Williams. Dauriel is a senior at Harris-Stowe University in St. Louis, Missouri and has a GPA of 3.54. In her essay, Dauriel suggested CDCR should create research programs with local university graduate schools to have students and researchers discover the main reasons Correctional Officers commit suicide. With this research, CDCR can establish employee programs that cater specifically as preemptive measures to be used in correlation with existing programs such as Employee Assistance and Peer Support.
CRCEA President/Community Resources Manager Vickie Grays stated, “When the CRCEA scholarship was first established in 2013, we were only able to award one $500 scholarship. Each year, we have been able to raise more money thereby increasing the number of scholarships awarded. This year we had 19 scholarship applications, which is the largest number thus far. CRCEA plans to continue to grow and we can award more scholarships to deserving high school and college students.”