NEWARK, NJ - Essex County Cops 4 Kids presented four graduating high school seniors $1,000 scholarships to help cover costs for college.
Armando Aviles, Essex County Sheriff’s Investigator and Newark resident, founded Essex County Cops 4 Kids in 2017 to improve relationships between law enforcement officers and the youth in the community.
The organization aims to provide youth ages 10 to 20 years old with exciting activities and one-on-one mentorship to learn about careers in law enforcement.
This year’s recipients are:
Michael Giordano (Newark) from Bard High School Early College will attend Bloomfield College
Brianna Cardoso (Bloomfield) from Donald Payne Technology High School will attend Bloomfield College
Paul Torres (Newark) from Donald Payne Technology High School will attend William Paterson University
Cicely Calva (Newark) from Technology High School will attend Rowan University.
Cops 4 Kids provides at-risk teenagers with opportunities to interact with law enforcement officers and community leaders in a positive atmosphere. The program promotes leadership training, life skills, confidence building, hands-on career experience, college and career preparation, and community service opportunities.
“As Law Enforcement Officers, we have an obligation to the youngsters of our community. Our jobs have to be more than the paycheck we receive, said Aviles. “If each one of us can save one child’s life through mentorship and friendship per year we’ll leave a positive impact on our communities.”
This year’s scholarships were in honor of individuals who directly impacted Essex County Cops 4 Kids: Essex County Sheriff’s Chief Kevin Ryan who was one of the organization's biggest moral supporters, Essex County Sheriff’s Detective Jorge Oliveira who was killed while serving in the military, Lisandro “Junior” Guzman, the young New York Police Department Explorer brutally killed last year, and Newark Police Lieutenant Leo Bernheim who was Aviles’ mentor when he was a teenager.