2022 Educational Scholarship Essay Contest Winner

National Police Credit Union is pleased to recognize Lauren Valentin as the Grand Prize Winner of the 2022 Educational Scholarship Essay Contest.

Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union’s Chief Executive Officer, Scott Arney
with Scholarship Winner, Lauren Valentin and her father, Antonio Valentin.

The Credit Union is also pleased to recognize Jordynn Chausse
as the Runner-Up Winner, awarding her with a $500 Educational Scholarship.

Scott and Jordynn and her father

Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union’s Chief Executive Officer, Scott Arney
with Scholarship Runner-Up Winner, Jordynn Chausse and her father, James Chausse.

Congratulations to Lauren and Jordynn, and thank you to every aspiring
student who participated in our annual program designed to highlight and
further the significance of education and financial literacy.

Chicago Patrolmen’s Chief Executive Officer, Scott Arney with Scholarship Winner, Lauren Valentin.

Scholarship Winner, Lauren Valentin and her father, Antonio Valentin.

Scholarship Runner-Up Winner, Jordynn Chausse and her father, James Chausse.

Chicago Patrolmen’s Chief Executive Officer, Scott Arney and Scholarship Runner-Up Winner, Jordynn Chausse.

How Has Law enforcement Shaped Your life?

Written by Lauren Valentin, Winner of the National Police Credit Union 2022 Educational Scholarship Essay Contest

          As an eighteen-year-old, the last couple of years have been challenging to say the least. With the pandemic changing the dynamics of being a student and national and worldwide social conflict, teenage life has been stressful. That all being said, watching how my father handles the challenges of his career has allowed me to find a productive way to deal with my own conflicts. Though there are many ways that law enforcement has shaped my life, I feel that the following six points highlight the influence having a parent in law enforcement has had on me.

          First, I must emphasize fitness, because in one week I will be competing in the USA Water Polo Junior Olympics and I have been signed to play at Pomona College. My father has always been fitness conscious. As a law enforcement officer, he understands the importance of fitness, not only to ease stress from work and daily life, but also because of the physicality that is often required for his profession. From a young age, watching him run and workout has made me embrace fitness as part of my lifestyle. I remember running my first Chicago Police Memorial 5k Run at seven years old and I strongly believe that I would not be the water polo player that I am today if it wasn’t for me watching him prepare physically for work on a daily basis. My father’s healthy habits have taught me that fitness is as significant as conducting his police work and investigating abilities. Taking care of yourself, physically and mentally, is an essential and crucial part of being who you are.

          Second, I find myself to be a positive and optimistic person much due to law enforcement. I often question how he and thousands of other officers throw on their uniform on a daily basis and maintain a super positive attitude with all of the tragedy he has seen and negative press his profession receives. Taking all this in mind, it is possible to understand the natural pull down this career path can have on someone yet my father has demonstrated that he has remained to choose a different course by always staying positive and always trying to make a difference every day that he goes to work. I am well aware of not allowing cynicism or negativity to impact your beliefs. These behaviors can have a negative impact on your career and in your family. Everyday day they go to work with the belief that hopefully the actions of their day will help and impact someone’s life in a positive manner. How can I not be positive and optimistic when I’m surrounded by a role model law enforcement parent and his co- workers who are always glass-half-full individuals. Staying positive is a conscious and disciplined choice that we must make to fulfill whatever role we take on.

          Third, I have always been the type of person who defends those who cannot defend themselves. Whether it’s defending classmates against bullies or taking on just causes for those that have little or no representation, having been molded by a parent in law enforcement has taught me to help protect those that cannot protect themselves. This behavior can lead to positive working environments and working relationships. I believe that when a person values or defends the rights of others, one can build long-term loyalty, trust, credibility, commitment, morale and can even give some people a confidence boost.

          Forth, whether it’s in my academics or sports, my police officer father has shaped me into an individual who values dedication and passion. Throughout the last five years particularly, law enforcement officer’s dedication has truly been tested. Watching my father and his co-workers go to work with a positive attitude after being pelted with bottles and called names definitely give me a true understanding of their dedication to service. It has definitely taught me to ride out the tough times and to remain concentrated on working hard and reaching my goals to become a college athlete and to one day graduate from medical school.

          Fifth, as my father’s work schedule has been through a variety of changes throughout the years, I have grown to be flexible and understanding. With days-off constantly getting cancelled, getting called into court spontaneously, and having to work cases lasting long hours, it is often difficult to make and maintain plans. There have been many birthdays, family-get- together’s and holidays that my father has missed however these situations have taught me to not only be understanding, but also appreciative and grateful for the quality time that we have when he is with us. Law enforcement family life is unique and we must learn to be adaptable. My father’s work schedule and dedication to his job has taught me about resiliency, communication and again the importance of having a positive attitude. Despite all of these challenges, he has instilled in us the importance of family and always being there to support one another.

         Lastly, having a parent who is a passionate law enforcement officer has taught me to discover and focus on my own passion as I am studying diligently to enter the medical field. Seeing my father’s passion for his career makes me hope that by also pursuing my passion, I can serve the public and contribute to making our city a better place as those in law enforcement do on a daily basis. Having been surrounded by positive Law Enforcement members all of my life has kept me optimistic that the good on this earth will prevail and that, even in dark times, we have those who are willing to risk their lives to maintain lawfulness and protect the citizens they serve.

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