2019 LAFD Merit Scholar Awards

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Merit Scholar Awards Ceremony Recognizes Achievement
Photo Credits: 
Creative Commons licensed for your use | LAFD Photo by Gary Apodaca

LOS ANGELES - On June 11, 2019, during the 13th annual LAFD Merit Scholar Awards Ceremony, the academic excellence and demonstrated leadership of college-bound students was honored.

The Merit Scholar Awards are cash grants, made possible through the Jean Perkins Foundation, of up to $30,000 ($7,500 per year while the student continues to be enrolled and making normal progress toward a college degree). To be eligible, a student must be the child or stepchild of an active or fallen LAFD sworn employee. The eligible student must be a high school senior or college freshman, who will be enrolled in the fall as a full-time student in an accredited college or university. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit. The single most important factor is academic achievement, but the all-civilian Selection Committee considered other relevant criteria, including personal character and extracurricular accomplishments.

This year’s awardees were students who demonstrated excellence in academic studies, good character, high moral standards, leadership, distinction in extra-curricular activities, personal accomplishments and a potential for future success.  The LAFD Merit Scholarship Fund Board of Directors had the difficult task of selecting the top candidates from an extremely competitive pool. 

The 2019 LAFD Merit Scholar Award Recipients are Kristen Grant and Leanne Grant, daughters of Engineer Daniel Grant; Madeline Marciano, daughter of Engineer Jeffrey Marciano; and Brittney Souter, daughter of Batallion Chief Rodd Souter (all bio's provided below).  

This year’s Runner-Up Award winners (Erin Bunch, Abigail Knight, Brennan Krebs, Brian Mathis, and Spencer Moore) are to be congratulated for their outstanding merits. Each received a one time grant of $5,000.

The winner of this year’s “Best Essay” award of $5,000 is Spencer Moore. This award was $2,500 in the past and doubled this year.

The Community Service Award was presented to Nathan Miller, who received $2,500 generously sponsored by the LAFD Foundation.

We would like to thank Mr. James Carroll III and Mr. Joe Connolly, Executive Board Members of the Jean Perkins Foundation and the LAFD Merit Scholarship Fund’s Board of Directors, Dick Barrett, John Anglin, G. Louis Graziadio III, Vicky Leck, Robert Nicholas, Brian Sullivan and Molly Taylor for their dedication and support of our members and their children. We are also grateful to the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation for their sponsorship of the “Community Service” award and to the LAFD Sertoma Club, the United Firefighters of Los Angeles CityLAFD Historical Society and the Los Angeles Firefighter’s Association and the Stentorians of City of Los Angeles who sponsored the awards reception.


The announcement for the 2020 competition should be posted early 2020 at




KRISTEN GRANT is a graduating senior from Capistrano Valley High School, and the daughter of Engineer Daniel Grant, assigned to Fire Station 49 (26 years LAFD).  She will be attending San Diego State University majoring in Biology.  Kristen is a volunteer at the Jessie Rees Foundations, NEGU(Never Ever Give Up) Program.  NEGU’s goal is to help every kid fighting cancer to Never Ever Give Up, by assembling “JoyJars.”  JoyJars was a concept of 12 year old Jessie Rees.  While going through her battle with brain cancer, Jessie’s focus was on helping other kids with cancer by providing them with jars stuffed with toys and activities. Kristen also volunteered with the Art 4 Healing Club and Capo Helps at special edu-cation classrooms and senior centers  leading art projects to help teach interaction and expressing emotion. Kristen and her sister Leanne started their own Etsy business called KiLe Supplies where they sell charms and jewelry supplies.  She has learned valuable lessons in marketing, selling and purchasing.  Kristen was a member of the Capistrano Valley High School’s award-winning Color Guard participating in school events and competitions from 2015 - 2017.  She enjoys going to the beach and hiking.  Kristen’s awards include Superintendent/Principals Honor Roll for receiving the highest honor roll in the Capistrano Unified School District from 2016 - 2019.  Kristen graduates with a 4.5 GPA.

LEANNE GRANT is a graduating senior from Capistrano Valley High School, (CVHS) and also the daughter of Engineer Daniel Grant, assigned to Fire Station 49 (26 years LAFD).  Leanne will be attending UC Davis, starting this fall, and majoring in Microbiology to pursue Anesthesiology. Leanne has been a volunteer for nearly two years with the Jessie Rees Foundation’s Never Ever Give Up (NEGU) organization. The JoyJars assembled by volunteers  provides support to kids with cancer and their siblings.  JoyJars and NEGU are recognized symbols of hope and love over 29 countries.  Leanne also volunteers with Arts 4 Healing, supporting emotional healing for injured veterans, ill children, abused women, and military families through art and the language of color as a way to communicate feelings words can't express. Leanne has been volunteering for Arts 4 Hope since 2015.  Leanne is a member of Link Crew, mentoring incoming freshmen.  Helping them get comfortable with the school, monthly activities, orientation and communication with upper classman.  During her freshman and sophomore years, Leanne played high school soccer and track and field 4 X 1 relay, 100 m, and 200 m.  Leanne spends her downtime working on her Etsy business which she co-owns with her sister and enjoys hiking, playing with her two dogs and playing soccer with friends.  Leanne’s awards include AP Scholar with Honors 2017 - 2019, and the Superintendent/Principal’s Honor Roll 2016 - 2019.  Leanne graduates with a 4.6 GPA.

MADELINE MARCIANO is a graduating senior from Royal High School, (RHS) and is the daughter of Engineer Jeffrey Marciano, assigned to Fire Station 93 (15 years LAFD).  She will be attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo majoring in Communications and minoring in Business.  Madeline’s volunteer services includes coaching youth cross country and track and assisting athletes run courses and providing motivation.  Madeline is a member of the Student Leadership Team at Simi Community Church.  She volunteers numerous hours teaching kids, organizing community events and fundraisers for programs such as junior high kids camp.  Madeline is the RHS Senior Class President.  She leads meetings and coordinates school activities and events. She is the voice of the senior class as well as a champion for all students as they create initiatives and school projects.  Her communication and leadership skills helped her motivate her fellow classmates and ramped up school spirit and class projects.   She has performed in RHS Concert Band playing the French Horn and this year had a leading role in the musical “Little Shop of Horrors.”  Madeline is a Link Crew Leader, helping incoming freshman acclimate to high school life.  Madeline has competed in Varsity Cross Country, (MVP 2015), 2016, 2017, Varsity Distance Track 2015, 2016 and Varsity Lacrosse 2017, 2018. Madeline received the Ronald Reagan Citizen Scholars Institute Diploma Seal this year.  Madeline’s other awards include Scholar Athlete MVP 2015 - 2017, All League Athlete Cross Country 2015 - 2017, and National Honor Society 2017 - 2019. Madeline graduates with a 4.5 GPA.

BRITTNEY SOUTER is a senior at the Academy for Academic Excellence (AAE) and is the daughter of Battalion Chief Rodd Souter, assigned to Battalion 11 B (31 years LAFD).  Britney will be attending Boise State University majoring in Elementary Education.  Brittney has participated in track and field, tennis, cheerleading, Student Ambassadors, Senior Leadership Team and the Associated Student Body (ASB).  She has been a member of ASB for 4 years.  As the ASB Vice-President this year, Brittney oversees all clubs on campus, keeping diligent records and ensures that all parties involved in any club making decision have the proper information and
documentation needed for success.  She has led her peers on countless occasions, planning school wide events, running meetings with the entire ASB class, communicating with her peers and AAE teachers.  Being the ASB Vice-President has inspired Brittney to obtain a higher education and eventually become a teacher.  Her  desire is to become a leader for the kids in her class and be an example for them to follow.  Since elementary school Brittney has strived and worked hard for high academics and sought out volunteer opportunities.  Her top priority has been to help others and be an example for those around her.  Britney has been dancing competitively for 15 years and served as a teachers assistant for two years at “A Dancer’s Pointe Performing Arts Center.”  She has volunteered at her church since 2015 and participated in missions to Mexico.  Brittney’s academic awards include Principal’s Honor Roll 2015 - 2019, National Honor Society 2015 - 2019, Scholar Athlete 2015 - 2019. Britney graduates with a 4.1 GPA.


Photo: From left to right; Dick Barrett, Brittney Souter, Madeline Marciano, Leaanne Grant, Kristen Grant, Chief Deputy Alfred Poirier


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