Vivian M. Garcia-Aguirre receives SGTC Michael Sangster Law Enforcement scholarship
Vivian M. Garcia-Aguirre of Americus was selected as the recipient of the South Georgia Technical College Lt. Michael Sangster Law Enforcement Academy endowed scholarship from the SGTC Law Enforcement Academy (LEA) Class of 18-01.
Garcia-Aguirre earned her Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification from the South Georgia Technical College Law Enforcement Academy.
“I decided to go into this field to serve and protect. I want to be able to change lives, even if it’s just for one person,” said Garcia-Aguirre. “I’d like to be a role model to my younger siblings, younger cousins, and just any and every one. I want to show them that you can be anything you set your mind to be if you just follow your dreams and don’t give up.”
Vivian Garcia-Aguirre worked a part-time job while attending the South Georgia Technical College Law Enforcement Academy to help pay for college as well as to help her mother with the household bills and to have some money for her weekly expenses. She plans to finish her associate’s degree in Criminal Justice from South Georgia Technical College and then continue on to earn as bachelor of science degree in this field.
“We are here to work for the public, but it is not easy whenever we’re portrayed as the bad guy the majority of the time,” said Garcia Aguirre. “I’d like to help bridge that gap between the public and law enforcement and be able to change that misconception that all peace officers are bad.
“It is a great honor to receive this scholarship and I look forward to making Lt. Sangster’s family proud of me. I am very thankful for this help because it has been a rough couple of months working and attending classes and training during the 18-week course.”
SGTC Law Enforcement Academy instructor and Academic Affairs Dean Vanessa Wall made the announcement of the Lt. Michael Sangster scholarship recipient during the graduation ceremony. Lt. Sangster’s mother, Connie Sangster Youngblood, his sister, Melissa Sangster, and his dad, Bob Sangster, were on hand to present the certificate and the scholarship check. This is the tenth Lt. Michael Sangster scholarship that has been awarded at SGTC since 2012.
Lt. Michael Sangster was an officer with the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office and served as a volunteer instructor for the South Georgia Technical College Law Enforcement Academy from the inception of the program. He lost his battle with cancer and passed away in 2012 at the age of 35. With the help of LEA students, friends, SGTC faculty and staff, and Lou Crouch, the Sangster family was able to endow a scholarship in his memory for SGTC LEA students.
Michael Sangster of Cordele held numerous POST certifications, including General Instructor, Firearms Instructor, Defensive Tactics Instructor, TASER Instructor, and Driver Instructor.
Lt. Sangster was born in Dooly County but spent most of his life in Cordele. He was the son of Robert Sangster, Sr. and Connie Sangster. He has a sister, Melissa Sangster and a son, Caleb.
“On behalf of South Georgia Technical College and the South Georgia Technical College Foundation, I would like to thank the Sangster family, Lou Crouch and the other individuals who donated to this particular scholarship for partnering with us,” said South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford. “We appreciate the opportunities that this scholarship is providing for our deserving Law Enforcement Academy students. Your investment in an endowed scholarship will continue to give back to our students indefinitely. We appreciate everything you are doing for our students and our community. Thank you again for recognizing the value of the educational opportunities and for supporting this effort. The students you help today will be the public servants that we count on tomorrow in our local communities.”
For more information about making a donation to the Lt. Michael Sangster Scholarship Fund or for endowing a scholarship at South Georgia Technical College, contact Su Ann Bird, SGTC Foundation Executive Director at 229.931.2110 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions may also be mailed to the SGTC Foundation, P.O. Box 6102, Americus, GA.
The South Georgia Technical College Law Enforcement Academy program takes 18 weeks to complete and most recruits qualify for the HOPE Grant and other forms of financial aid. Admission standards require all students to undergo a thorough background check and adhere to all rules as set forth by the state POST Council. Students will also have to meet minimum scores in English, reading and math.
For more information about the Law Enforcement Academy contact the Law Enforcement Academy office at 229.931.2716 or SGTC Law Enforcement Academy Director Brett Murray at 229.931.2756; or SGTC Dean Academic Affairs Vanessa Wall in Americus at 229.931.2713.