Beaming into the homes and the hearts of Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL) members, four PAL youth were honored with personal recognition and individual scholarship funds totaling $22,000 as presented by the Chris Carrey PAL Education Scholarships program on Wednesday, July 29 via Zoom video conferencing that included the scholarship recipients and their families, and the Chris Carrey PAL Education Scholarships donors.

Through a joint gift from Ed Simmons and Standard Parking and from Neil and Karen Carrey, an endowment fund has been established for the Chris Carrey PAL Education Fund. This fund provides scholarships for post-high school education expenses to a PAL member who meets required criteria, shows financial need, successfully completes an application package, and is selected by the Chris Carrey PAL Education Fund Committee. The scholarship recipients are presented annually at the PAL Recognition Dinner and Awards Ceremony. Now in its 18th year, more than 110 scholarships totaling more than $280,000 have been awarded to PAL youth.

The  Chris Carrey PAL Education Scholarships 2020 recipients include Melisa Ramirez-Hernandez, Karen Morales, Jesse Del Rio and Amy Tessema.

Each scholarship recipient participated in the live virtual ceremony and revealed their scholarship award amounts by opening a scroll that was followed by brief remarks on receiving their scholarship award and future academic plans:

– “I will be attending Santa Monica College in the Fall studying Kinesiology,” said Jesse Del Rio, Recent Graduate from Santa Monica High School, Scholarship Recipient and PAL member.

– “I plan to attend San Jose State in the Fall and study Communications with a specialty in Advertising,” said Amy Tessema, Recent Graduate from Santa Monica High School, Scholarship Recipient and PAL member.

– “I plan to attend the University of California, Davis to become an Orthodontist,” said Karen Morales, Incoming Senior at Santa Monica High School, Scholarship Recipient and PAL member.

– “I am currently reviewing potential schools and I plan to study Kinesiology so that I can become a Sports Therapist,” said Melisa Ramirez-Hernandez, Incoming Senior at Santa Monica High School, Scholarship Recipient and PAL member.

PAL also arranged to have dinner delivered to each award recipients’ home for the winners and their families to celebrate the evening.

The Chris Carrey PAL Scholarship presenters included Neil Carrey; Ed Simmons, SP Plus; Helen Albright; and Kathy Irby.

“This was such an incredible evening with a first-ever virtual Chris Carrey PAL Education Scholarships presentation. Each of the recipients are truly deserving of the awards,” says Eula Fritz, Director at Santa Monica Police Activities League. “The PAL youth work very hard on their school programs throughout the year and the scholarships program is a terrific way to recognize and support their academic commitment and dreams.”

For more information, call (310) 458-8988 or visit smpal.org.

Submitted by Cameron Andrews