Spring 2012 Scholarship Award

Out To Protect is proud to award a scholarship to Ms. Marla Crews who is currently attending the police academy at the  St Johns River State College Law Enforcement Academy.  Ms. Crews entered the academy with a wealth of experience in corrections.  She quickly established herself as a leader, mentor, and role model for her colleagues.  By simply being herself, Ms. Crews, helped her peers in the academy gain a better understanding of the LGBT community .  The academy staff is very proud of Ms. Crews and her performance in the academy not only as a student, but as a class leader.  We asked her to share a little more about herself.
I am currently a cadet in the St Johns River State College Law Enforcement Academy. My graduation is scheduled for June 21, 2012. I was a teacher at a small private school for 13 years, where I taught high school math, science, and coached athletics.  I always wanted to work in Law Enforcement so I worked in private security while saving money to be able to attend the academy.   I was able to gain employment through the TEA Program in a corrections department and worked for 7 years as a correctional deputy.  During this time, my desire to improve my training was always driving me to learn more and push myself further and I always had a desire to become a road officer.  An injury in 2011 gave me time to reflect on what I wanted for my life and what it would take to get me on track for my goals.  I decided then to go back to school so that I could achieve my dream of becoming a Law Enforcement officer.
My instructors have been instrumental in guiding me and pushing me to “think outside the box” and to never settle for the easy answer. Most of all my partner has stood beside me, even when she  had to work harder while I am in school.  I never would have made it without her support.   I have never felt the need to hide my orientation at school. All of my classmates have welcomed me with open arms and there have been some very interesting conversations in how alike we all really are sometimes.  I look forward to graduation and being able to utilize my training and experiences to build a community that accepts everyone.