Spring 2017 Scholarship Recipients

My name is Brooke Taylor. I’m a 21 year old recent graduate of the Northeast Texas Police Academy. I got a job at a sheriff’s office here in Northeast Texas. I am lesbian and proud to be so. I am married to my wife Leigh as of four months now! We plan to have children in a few years from now. I chose law enforcement because I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to do something that mattered to me and where I could help people. Even if you just help one person you have made a difference to them. This job means more to me than just a pay check. I care more about doing this job to the best ability I have and helping people than just making a lot of money.
I am very excited and happy with the career choice I made. I have started my field training and will be working patrol. In the future I see myself hopefully moving up ranks when it’s my time and becoming a detective. That’s always been my dream. I would like to thank everyone from Out To Protect for the opportunity to receive this scholarship! I couldn’t be more blessed to be a part of not only the law enforcement community but the LGBTQA community as well. I hope that people understand that’s it’s definitely possible to do both. It means a lot to me and I’m so proud to be the recipient of it!

My name is Drake Gammill.  After college, I decided I wanted to be a police officer as I wanted a career that was exciting, dynamic and important. I wanted a career where I could help people that needed help. Since that day, everything I have done in life has been a step towards obtaining that goal. I took a job in loss prevention so I could test the waters and I loved every minute of it. I once called 9-1-1 at work to report a DUI and in that moment I knew what type of police officer I eventually wanted to be, a traffic officer who would make the streets safer for everyone.

I am out to all my family and peers as a way to combat bisexual erasure. Being seen and heard is the only way to let people know that we are out there. The staff and fellow cadets at Napa Valley Police Academy have been wholly accepting which instills my faith of the growing tolerance within law enforcement. I’m here to show that gay and bisexual men can do the job just as well as everyone else. I intend to educate law enforcement on how to be allies to the LGBT community. To be a role model for all LGBT officers is my way of giving back to the community that has embraced me.

My name is Danielle Hernandez.  I am 32 years old and married with 3 children and one grand daughter. I am a happy person.  I am the type of person that will hold the door for anyone, smile and say hello.  If I see a person struggling with their groceries, I will offer to help.  If I see a person with a flat tire, I will offer to help.  Patience and strength are also skills that I have learned about that are very important to me.  I have worked in high stress jobs, with a variety of different people and enjoy very much the feeling that comes from overcoming difficult situations.

I plan on being myself forever, and I am an out and very proud lesbian woman.  I am lucky enough to have a family that supports me and loves me for who I am.  Being a lesbian police officer, I would like to help my community through outreach programs that help teens come out and be a positive influence in their lives.  As a person who wants to be accepted, I believe that it is also important to accept others.  A little acceptance and respect goes a long way, and I plan on taking this as well as my other morals and values with me throughout my career as a police officer.