Austin Lynema awarded LEEP scholarship twice

Austin Lynema awarded LEEP scholarship twice

Shae Slaughter

While navigating college, finding time to be involved in activities can often be difficult. However, Grand Valley State University student Austin Lynema balances going to school and being involved in the community. His involvement has led to big things in his scholastic path, like his recent award of the Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) Scholarship.

As a sophomore at GVSU, this is the second time Lynema has been awarded this $1,000 scholarship. LEEP is a national program based out of Troy, Michigan that aims “to create and support educational programs for the betterment of both the general public and the law enforcement community,” according to its website. The company is a nonprofit organization interested in research and child safety, but it also began to award scholarships about a decade ago. Since its inception, the LEEP scholarship has awarded about $140,000.

The scholarship was brought to Lynema’s attention by coworker Officer Joel Maat. Applicants must show an interest in joining a public safety field upon graduation.

Though Lynema has not graduated yet, he is involved in public safety in a variety of ways, including having completed the Michigan State Police Student Trooper Academy. For a little over a year, he has been working at the Holland Police Department as a cadet and for the same time he has been involved with the Walker and Grand Rapids Police Explorers.

Lynema also spends time interning for the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department and Zeeland High School where he helps with building security. In addition, he participated in volunteer activities like Shields of Hope, an organization that helps to raise money for those with cancer. Lynema is also a certified EMT.

After graduation, Lynema plans to follow in the footsteps of the men and women he grew up watching and become a police officer, eventually moving up the ranks.

“Basically I’ve been living the public safety field since I was born, it’s one of the only things I’m 100 percent dedicated too. It’s one of the only things I really know,” he said, “It’s a dedication to helping people, a commitment to something greater than myself.”