We are honored to announce this year's scholarship recipients.
Hello my name is Benjamin Bullard, and I am from Parker, CO. I was mainly raised in New England, specifically Massachusetts and Connecticut. My life was going great for a little while and I couldn’t have asked for anything better, until I turned 7 years old and life started spinning in circles and got flipped upside down. I went to school on December 20, 2010 like a normal 2nd grader and had a great day, but then the bus ride home changed everything. I got to my stop and saw that my mom, who normally was there waiting for me, wasn’t to be seen. I went to the house and got no response. It took all day long to figure what confused little 2nd grade me was going through. At that point I and my friend’s family, who I was staying with for the time being, called 911. They went in and found out my mother had passed away.
At this point in my life, I had to go live with some guy whom I had discovered a month or two prior was my biological dad. I had only seen him a few times before that. That very next Christmas I remember the local police station was extremely nice and got me a few things to keep me occupied. From that point forward, my love of the criminal justice system has grown more and more.
Living with my dad was well at first, at least until I started getting older and realized he and his wife wouldn’t allow me to talk to any other family members from my mom's side. Then the abuse came in and started to hurt me inside and out. It was beyond horrible. He got me into many bad habits thinking they were ok, and really they weren’t. Throughout the 7 years I had lived with him, my feelings and emotions just started getting worse and worse.
In October of 2017, I didn’t want to be here on Earth anymore, and I ended up being brought to hospitals and an overnight home. While there, I was told to call my sister. The next day I did just that, and found out that they were in the Route 91 shooting, which impacted the family's life as a whole. During that phone call though, they asked me if I wanted to come live with them. I put no thought into it and said yes. I don’t regret a single word that came out of my mouth during that one phone call. Within the next 2 weeks I was out of Massachusetts and with my sister and her family, experiencing life the Colorado way.
With everything I have been through in life and seeing what the field does for other people, I have decided I want to return the favor to other families going through what I went through (or maybe even worse), and figure out why people really do what they do -- whether it is good or bad.
My name is Halle Ann Hoglin, a 2021 high school graduate. My hobbies include crafts, reading, watching movies, spending time with friends, camping, cheer, four-wheeling and being at a beach anywhere!
I grew up living in both Alaska, where I was born, and Oklahoma where my biological mother was born and had family. I lived a very unstructured and dysfunctional childhood and didn’t understand the depth of the degree until Social Services intervened, removed me and placed me in the foster care system. I was now a “foster kid” and a statistic. Who knew this would be the act that saved my life? I was fortunate to have my grandmother (a Route 91 survivor) and her husband, who took me into their care and eventually adopted me (a very long process).
Throughout my adolescent years, I discovered that if I put my focus and attention into my academics, it was something I could control the outcome of and a way to prove I was more than either of my parents knew how to be. My education gave me strength when I needed to feel worthy and valued. I excelled in academics during my elementary and junior high years, and achieved honor roll and academic excellence awards each year during my high school career, proving to myself that I was a valuable person and could rise above the lifestyle in which I was raised. This gave me the ambition and desire to pursue Elementary Education, to be at the forefront of making a difference in the lives of children. I have had some amazing educators and am so grateful for them every day. I want to be that person for even one child, but multiple children would be an even greater reward! I want to inspire my future students to let them know they can rise above any circumstance and teach them to believe in themselves.
I take nothing in life for granted and know it takes hard work to achieve great successes. I am no longer a statistic. I have a promising future and am college bound, something I would had never thought could be my reality! Thank you for this scholarship opportunity, helping me to pursue my dreams!