Last year Belmont Abbey College, the Gaston County Police Department and Gaston County Schools announced the James Buie Scholarship Program which provides a full scholarship for selected students in pursuit of a Criminal Justice degree at Belmont Abbey College. The program supports two students each year over the next eight years. Upon completion of their degree and qualifications of the Gaston County Police Department, the GCPD will offer these students full-time employment with the department for a period of not less than five years.
This year’s recipients are Brette Linkenhoker and Abigal Sanchez. Brette Linkenhoker is from Fishersville, VA and is a rising junior Criminal Justice major at the Abbey. She has competed on our Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field teams and is currently an RA. In her view: “… this scholarship… is looking for someone who is qualified beyond the classroom….[it supports] Someone who has the heart for service and is willing to serve for the sake of the people… and become an advocate for others.”
Abigal Sanchez is a senior at Ashbrook High School and a rising freshman at the Abbey. She has been a part of the Gastonia Police Department Explorer’s program since 2015 and completed the Explorer Academy at the NC Justice Academy in Salemburg in June 2017. She has already completed two college-level criminal justice courses. In her interview with the selection committee, Abigal was particularly passionate about becoming an officer and working with and serving the citizens of Gaston County to help bridge the cultural gaps that may exist.
Dr. Julia Beeman sums it up best: “As Dr. Thierfelder and Dr. Booker said today, we are blessed to be able to support these young women as they pursue their career goals of law enforcement service. We want to thank Chief Ramey for his vision and leadership, and the Gaston County schools for their dedicated partnership in this endeavor.”