Local law enforcement agencies join TCC in helping youth

October 17, 2017

Tallahassee, Fla. (October 17, 2017)—Two local law enforcement agencies are investing in a unique scholarship at Tallahassee Community College that helps youth who have been involved with the juvenile justice system to turn their lives around.

The Tallahassee Police Department and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office will each donate $10,000 to TCC to support the New Start Scholarship Fund, which honors the memory of David and Nancy Lawrence. The announcement was made at the October 16 meeting of the TCC District Board of Trustees.

The New Start Scholarship Fund helps positively impact crime prevention, safe neighborhoods and drug prevention by providing scholarships to TCC for students who been involved with the juvenile justice system but are turning their lives around through education. Many scholarships and other forms of financial aid are unavailable to these students because of their past, so the New Start Scholarship gives them an opportunity they would not otherwise have.Police department and TCC officials with big check

The Tallahassee Police Department was represented at the meeting by Chief Michael DeLeo and Deputy Chief Darrell Furuseth, while the Leon County Sheriff’s Office gift was presented by Sheriff Walt McNeil.

In his remarks, DeLeo referred to the “poetic justice” of using funds from law enforcement seizures of assets related to criminal activities to help young people build a future that takes them away from any criminal enterprise.

“These are not tax dollars. These are monies taken from drug dealers and criminals,” said DeLeo. “We’re using the proceeds of criminals’ profits to really invest in our community’s future.”

Sheriff and TCC officials holding big checkMcNeil agreed about the importance of giving young offenders an opportunity to turn their lives around.

“[TCC is] making a huge difference in the lives of our kids and, hopefully, with our efforts and your help with the scholarship, we’ll get some good returns.”

According to Heather Mitchell, executive director of the TCC Foundation, two students are currently receiving the scholarship, but with the new LCSO and TPD gifts, the fund will be able to support four additional students beginning in January 2018.

“The New Start Scholarship Fund is transforming lives and giving young people a second chance to become successful members of the community,” said Mitchell. “It is inspiring that our local law enforcement agencies have taken this step to help at-risk youth find a positive way forward, a way where the youth and society benefit.”

For information, contact Heather Mitchell at (850) 201-6067 or mitchelh@tcc.fl.edu.