Applause to Victoria, who has earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in June. When Victoria was thirteen, she was awakened to learn that her mother was a victim of domestic violence homicide. Sadly, she and her three siblings were unable to stay together since that time, and have had long distance relationships to stay connected. She has been a big sister and mother to her younger siblings and has managed to complete her education in five years and hold down as many as three jobs at a time. Your donations and support made possible Victoria’s academic success. She continues to work three jobs and is interviewing for professional employment. We are so proud of you, Victoria!
We applaud Aleena who has earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing on May 6 from UCF. As a result of her outstanding commitment to academics and hard work she has been offered a position as a Pediatric Nurse as soon as she passes her state boards and is licensed.
A few days before Christmas 2014 Aleena’s dad, Charlie Kondek, was shot and killed while responding to a nuisance call. A fugitive fired multiple rounds at her dad, striking him once above his bullet-proof vest. She said, “My dad loved Christmas and his excitement would fill the house every year as he played Christmas carols and announced that Santa had come.” Christmas was unbearable, but they decided to open their Christmas gift knowing that the gifts would be the last from her dad. Aleena was 15 and the youngest of 6 children. Aleena believes her mother is the strongest woman she has ever known.
Aleena shared with me that she was living life like her dad would have wanted. “I can still hear him in my head just saying, ‘Keep going, don’t let this get to you.’ Everything I do, it’s for him,” she said. While in school, Aleena worked at the university’s police department while completing her degree. She will soon be employed in one of Florida’s top hospitals. We are so proud of you!
Aleena and her mother with UCF campus police.
Blake earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering and during Covid was blessed with securing employment with a small company. Blake wrote, “My family and I greatly appreciate your generosity and hope to meet you.” He expressed his thanks to everyone who contributes and volunteers with the Foundation. Blake and his mother hope to attend the 2021 annual Wine & Cheese Tasting to personally thank everyone.
When Blake was 5 years old, his dad a sheriff’s deputy was called to investigate a meth lab the day after Thanksgiving and was shot and killed when he entered the lab. He witnessed firsthand the devastating impact drugs have on communities and overcome the hardship of losing his dad at a young age to homicide. In the face of this tragedy, Blake’s mother had to deal with her grief that of her boys and support her family.
Excerpt from his essay, “As a member of Concerns of Police Survivors, I help families and friends of officers killed in the Line of Duty cope and deal their loss. I am also proud of overcoming the personal hardship of losing my Dad at a young age. My counselor from church has helped me grieve by reminding me of the big picture. My time can be better spent on helping others and bettering myself than staying in the past. What happened to my Dad will help me in my career by encouraging me to seek a, I am passionate about, and by always reminding me to keep good morals.”
When Paul was in the third grade, he lost his older brother, Anthony to homicide. Paul shared that he learned to be grateful of everything and everyone in his life and realized it could change in minutes. Anthony took Paul hunting and spent time with him outdoors. He was Paul’s role model and connection that inspired Paul’s passion for wildlife motivated him to pursue a degree in Wildlife Biology. In his essay Paul shared, “I feel that pursuing this degree will assist me to continuously be connected to nature as well as my brother.” This scholarship is important to me because would be an honor to expand my education on behalf of Peyton and is very important to me because it exists to represent a special life and important life, just like my brother’s.
Paul accomplished his dream through counseling and support to system to talk about thoughts and feelings and look ahead to earn his degree. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree and majored Forest Wildlife Law Enforcement in August. He is ready to serve and protect our resources.
The Foundation is proud to announce another graduation of one of our recipients, Daniel, from FSU. Thank you to all of our volunteers sponsors, and donors for your support. His degree is in engineering and he starts his new job in June.
Daniel lost his mother to violence. We are so proud of what he has accomplished: working, school and helping with younger siblings. He has shared that once he settles in his career, he will pay it forward and support the foundation.
Daniel spoke at the Diamond Anniversary Event on September 26, 2019.
“Thank you for everything you have done for me and my brother in what has been by far the roughest years of our lives. So thank you for being there for us and being like a godmother. It has really made me feel loved and appreciated to hear from you and see you at events. I can’t thank you enough. May God bless you and your organization. You are so loved and are so very loving.
Much Love, Daniel”