Concord-Carlisle High School
Class of 2006
I started attending the Concord schools when I moved to town in fifth grade. Throughout high school I always worked, took pride in the work I did, and bought my own car. For two years I was an auto mechanic’s apprentice, and thought I might like to pursue a career working as an auto mechanic after high school. I also worked at the Nashawtuc Country Club and Stow Acres Country Club on the grounds maintenance crew. From my experience in golf course maintenance, I considered going into turf management studies and working in the golf course industry.
What I had really always wanted to be was a police officer, but I didn’t actually know if it was right for me. At the time, my sister’s boyfriend, Steve Atwood, was a police officer, and he was a great role model for me. Now married to my sister, Steve is a sergeant for the Wellesley Police Department. In 2006, I went to the Concord Police Station to ask if I could do an internship there to learn about the work and environment. They agreed, and I had this great opportunity; I learned a lot and met some very nice people. Although I was probably seen as the “annoying kid around the station,” I learned so much from the officers there. Most notable was Sergeant Joe Morahan, with whom I still remain in contact. After my internship with the Concord Police Department and with direction from my sister’s boyfriend, I decided I wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement. I enrolled in the Criminal Justice Program at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. My first semester in college, I started working as a dispatcher for the Acton Police Department. I worked part-time for three years, and then for two more years I was full-time there. In that same time period, I was a full-time student and also returned on a part-time basis to Stow Acres Country Club working the grounds maintenance staff.
I graduated in 2010 from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Legal Studies. I was employed in Acton for a total of five years. In 2011, I transferred to Wellesley’s Police and Fire Communications Unit. I worked there full-time until August 2014. I then attended the 22nd ROC (recruit officer course) at the Municipal Police Training Committee’s Reading Regional Police Academy in September 2014. During my attempts to obtain a job in law enforcement, I applied to many different towns in and out of Massachusetts. In total, I took twenty-five exams and traveled out of state for the examination and application processes. This was difficult logistically because it took a lot of time, travel and expense. Also, I really had to think long and hard about the prospect of moving away from my family in this area.
My ultimate goal was to work in the Concord police force. Unfortunately, the Concord Police Department does not hire candidates without previous training and police experience. In a sense, I was struggling to get my first opportunity, which proved more difficult than I would have ever expected.
I had almost given up on my goal and had reverted back to my earlier plan to pursue a career in the golf course industry and municipal park and tree departments. I decided that I would take the civil service exam one last time. I am so very glad I took that exam, as it finally enabled me to achieve my lifelong dream of becoming a police officer. I am now employed full-time as a patrolman for the Acton Police Department.
Obtaining this position has been a long, long road. Without the help of The Scholarship Fund of Concord and Carlisle, I might not have reached my goal due to the expense of college. The scholarship helped steer me in the right direction, gave me the opportunity to obtain an education at a good college, and allowed me to take the job I love, without being concerned about being heavily overburdened by student loans. I still have student loans, but they are manageable with my other living expenses and the income that I have. I really appreciated The Scholarship Fund of Concord and Carlisle scholarship, and I saw it as an extension of the support I had received from the community that had welcomed me and helped me during my transition in fifth grade.
My story is not your typical Concord story, but it is a realistic one. Not everyone ends up working in the financial district, Wall Street, or as a doctor or lawyer. You can achieve your dreams by working hard toward your goals and enlisting the help and support of the great community we live in. I am very grateful for The Scholarship Fund of Concord and Carlisle, because it helped me attain my goal of the dream job that I really wanted, and now I am getting to do what I love. My conclusion from this experience is twofold. Always treat people the way you would want to be treated, and good things happen to people who wait.