Winning is great, but when you win money, it’s even better.  Just ask Aniya Smith, an eighth grade student from David G. Millen Middle School in Palmdale, California who won an essay contest sponsored by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Black Peace Officers Association.
 
So what is the 13 year-old going to do with the $100 she won during February’s Black History month for writing a paper on Ruby Bridges, who coincidentally was the first African-American child to attend an all-white school?  In addition to the $100 monetary award from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Black Peace Officers Association, Aniya received a certificate of appreciation and backpack filled with school supplies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the book, “Pathfinders: The Journeys of 16 Extraordinary Souls,” by Tonya Bolden, donated by the Los Angeles County Library and an Office Depot gift card from the Antelope Valley African American Chamber of Commerce.  
 
The 2nd place essay winner received a $75 monetary award from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Black Peace Officers Association, certificate of appreciation and backpack filled with school supplies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The 3rd Place essay winner received a $50 monetary award from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Black Peace Officers Association, certificate of appreciation and backpack filled with school supplies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

All 36 students who entered the essay contest received a certificate of appreciation from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
 
Emphasizing the joys of literature cannot come without buckling up and taking a ride into one’s own imagination.  But you can’t get there without exploring the fascinating world inside a book.  Couple that with writing and a cash reward, both organizations hope to capture the interests of today’s youth with early education opportunities which emphasize literacy knowledge.
 
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is committed to impacting the lives of tens of thousands of kids in the many communities it serves through early learning and mentorship, after school programs, charity events and interest in sports that potentially offer greater educational opportunities in the future.
 
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell states, “We have the ability to be positive role models, to create a safe haven for learning and a pipeline of educational opportunities through our various youth programs such as our Youth Activities League, Explorer, Success through Awareness and Resistance, and Vital Interventions and Directional Alternatives mentorship programs. Each program shows our commitment to community policing and to the youth of the communities we serve.
 
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and Black Peace Officer’s organization would like to thank the organizations that collaborated on this successful event and look forward to next year's event.  

 
Forwarded by:
 
Kimberly Alexander, Deputy
Sheriff’s Information Bureau – Newsroom
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Hall of Justice - First floor  
211 W. Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
213-229-1700

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Jim McDonnell, Sheriff
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department