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Annapolis police announce scholarship winners in honor of the five slain Capital Gazette employees

The Annapolis Police Department awarded nine scholarships to students, five of which were in honor of the Capital Gazette shooting victims.
The Annapolis Police Department awarded nine scholarships to students, five of which were in honor of the Capital Gazette shooting victims. (Naomi Harris / Capital Gazette)

The Annapolis Police Department recognized nine students to receive scholarships for higher education, including five students who were awarded scholarships in memory of the five employees who were killed last year at the Capital Gazette, according to a police press release.

An anonymous donor had given the scholarship fund $5,000 for the students receiving scholarships in memory of the Capital Gazette victims. Students who were awarded a scholarship to honor the five employees are also tasked with learning about Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters.

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Gerald Fischman

Jameira Eades, Annapolis High School

Jameira Eades, enrolled in honors and Advanced Placement classes at Annapolis High School, has served as a member of the Superintendent’s Teen Advisory Committee to represent the CAT South program. Eades tutored students in the AVID program and also participated in community service for the Lighthouse Shelter. She has also worked as a part-time page for the Anne Arundel County Public Library. According to the Branch Manager, she “has been reliable, dedicated, and engaged taking all her work and assignments seriously.”

Rob Hiaasen

Demetri Brown, Annapolis High School

A student from Annapolis High School was given a scholarship in memory of Rob Hiaasen. Demetri Brown, a student committed to community service, has been involved in a number of activities like serving meals at the Salvation Army or the Lighthouse Shelter to participating in a coat drive for Sarah’s House. Brown also participated in high school sports and was a member of the National Honor Society. His high school English teacher wrote, “One of the things that most stands out about Demetri is he has a heart of gold.” Brown also is an active member of his faith community.

John McNamara

Cameron Thomas, Annapolis High School

Cameron Thomas, a student of Annapolis High School, has taken classes in both AP and honors. He was a member of the National Honor Society and played football and lacrosse for all four years. His high school teacher said “Cameron demonstrated strong character as well as academic integrity.”

Rebecca Smith

Christopher Hernandez, South River High School

Christopher Hernandez , part of the STEM magnet program at South River, is a member of the National Honor Society and the Chinese Honor Society. He has also enrolled in a number of AP courses. Hernandez works as a junior staff member for the Boys and Girls Club of Annapolis. Known to help other students, Hernandez is part of a mentoring program called Joven Noble. His teacher said his “academic accomplishments are rivaled only by his personal strengths.”

Wendi Winters

MiKayla Simms, Annapolis High School

MiKayla Simms, an active student in Annapolis High School clubs, is a member of the National Honor Society, French Honor Society, the Key Club and Young Women of Color and Mock Trial. She was selected at the Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year, in which she served as an ambassador for all teens in Anne Arundel County. Her school counselor said “MiKayla is a capable student leader with a warm heart who cares deeply about the world around her.”

The Annapolis Police established the scholarship fund to award students from the City of Annapolis, according to the press release.

Other donors for the scholarship fund include anonymous benefactors, the Spring Fling fundraising event funds, community donations and money raised through a partnership with the local Annapolis Papa John’s Pizza. Two additional students — Sidra Tahir and Leonardo Acosta — received $1,000 with the scholarship fund money and two students — Kaysha Addison and Nijae Beckles — will receive $500.

Acosta, a student in the International Baccalaureate program, earned a 3.67 GPA at Annapolis High School. He is a member of many clubs — including Personal Finance Club, Student Government Association, and the Spanish Honor Society — and often serves in leadership roles. He also volunteers at the Centro de Ayuda and will complete an internship there this summer. His IB Counselor said, “Leo had to grow up quickly to deal with many life challenges. He did so without losing his own identity but held on to what he knows and loves, learning. He has held on to his self in the face of the storm.”

Tahir, who earned a 3.84 GPA at Annapolis High School, was a member of the Naval Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps Unit. She has also participated in the AVID program where she also served as an AVID tutor for other students using her organizational skills and work ethic. The Senior Naval Science Instructor said “Sidra approaches life with a level of self-discipline, that I rarely see in someone of her age. At the same time, she clearly enjoys life and its adventures, and everyone enjoys being around her.”

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