15th annual Officer David White Scholarship awarded to Ava Bezaire
The 2021 Officer David White Scholarship was awarded to Ava Bezaire, daughter of Naperville Fire Lt. Benjamin Bezaire.
The recognition took place at the Naperville Park District board of commissioners meeting held at Fort Hill Activity Center on Thursday, June 24.
Park District Police Chief Steve Schindlbeck explained the background of the scholarship and recognized Ava who attended with her family.
The $2,000 scholarship honors the compassionate public service demonstrated by Naperville Park Police Officer David White, whose actions helped save a young man's life in 2006. The scholarship is funded by an anonymous donor, who has provided $2,000 annually for the scholarship since 2007.
The scholarship is open to an individual age 25 or younger who either is a son or daughter of an active duty Naperville police officer, park police officer, or firefighter or someone who is serving in one of these roles themselves. Naperville Police Explorers and Naperville Fire Explorers also are eligible.
In the donor's words, "The purpose of the scholarship is to inspire our next generation of public servants to care enough to exert the extra effort, to take a second look."
A panel of five judges selected Ava Bezaire as the 2021 scholarship recipient by evaluating the scholarship applications that were submitted. The scholarship panel included the following community leaders:
• Bob Ross, chief human resources officer, Naperville Unit District 203;
• Brad Wilson, director of recreation and facilities, Naperville Park District;
• Kamala Martinez, past president and CEO, KidsMatter;
• Marcie Schatz, deputy city manager, City of Naperville;
• Mike Reilly, past president, Naperville Park District Board of Commissioners.
Chief Schindlbeck noted that Ava was selected for her volunteer service and leadership and for her understanding of the importance of public service to the well-being of the whole community.