CVSA Awards $1,000 College Scholarships to Five Deserving Students

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July 9, 2019

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) awarded $1,000 scholarships to five deserving high school seniors to attend the college of their choice this fall. Brendan Dowling will attend Biola University; William Farris was accepted to the University of Alabama; Kathryn Kelley will attend Southwest Baptist University; Reagan Miller plans to attend Dallas Baptist University; and Marissa Snapp was accepted to Emory and Henry College.

As North America’s leading commercial motor vehicle safety organization, CVSA’s annual scholarship award program is a key component of the Alliance’s outreach initiatives. The scholarship award program is competitive in its selection criteria, uniquely tailored to recognize outstanding high school seniors. Scholarship recipients are selected by weighing a combination of strong academic performance, volunteer work and extracurricular activities.


Brendan Dowling

This fall, Brendan Dowling will attend Biola University in California. He is the son of Steve Dowling with the California Highway Patrol. Brendan plans to pursue a career in physical therapy. After graduating from medical school with a PhD in physical therapy, Brendan said he plans to start his own practice, “through which I will give back to the community by helping others battling with physical ailments.”

Brendan had a 4.0 grade point average and was a member of his school’s Academic Honor Society. As an avid runner, Brendan devoted four years to varsity cross country and four years to varsity track. He also was the recipient of the Travis Williams Award for Cross Country and he cofounded the Rocklin Outdoor Club. His community work includes a two-week mission trip to Bangladesh, packaging food for the military, volunteering time with Feed My Starving Children and Paradise Wildfire Disaster Relief, and leading bible studies.


William Farris

William Farris was accepted to the University of Alabama. His father is James Farris with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety. Will plans to pursue a double major in marine science and biology. “My dream is to do everything I can to help preserve our oceans, teach others of their importance and better understand the creatures that live there,” said Will.

With a perfect 4.0 grade point average, Will was the top student in his class. He was voted Most Likely to Succeed and served as senior class president. Will was a member of the Future Business Leaders of America and the Beta Spanish Club. In addition, he was a drum major for his school’s marching band and received the John Philip Sousa Award, which is the pinnacle of achievement in a high school band. Will also participated in tennis, track and field, and drama, as well as Upward Soccer. He volunteered with the LaSalle Parish Special Olympics and the Searcy Little Creek Volunteer Fire Department.


Kathryn Kelley

Kathryn Kelley will attend Southwest Baptist University in Missouri. Kathryn’s father is Commercial Vehicle Division Capt. Kevin Kelley, a 25-year veteran of the Missouri Highway Patrol. Kathryn plans to obtain a degree in nursing. “By becoming a nurse practitioner, I think that I will gain a platform that will allow me to better the lives of people locally and nationally,” said Kathryn.

Kathryn was senior vice president and president of the National Honor Society at her high school. In service of her community, Kathryn provided summer lunch meals as a food program volunteer and worked as a camp counselor with responsibility over more than 85 children over 13 summer weeks. Kathryn was a member of the varsity basketball team and golf team. She was also a member of the Future Business Leaders of America, the STEM Club and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.


Reagan Miller

Reagan Miller plans to attend Dallas Baptist University with the ultimate career goal of becoming a freelance photographer and videographer for non-profit organizations around the world. “Although this career is not a common career, I believe that God has placed these dreams inside my heart for a reason,” said Reagan. “Throughout my career, I want to follow my two passions: photography and sharing the Gospel.” Reagan’s father is Raymond Miller with McAnally Wilkins Insurance.

Reagan was a member of the National Honor Society and Interact Leadership Team, she played on her school’s softball and cross-country teams, and she worked part time most of her high school career, all while maintaining her grade point average. Reagan served faithfully at her church by sharing her time at vacation bible schools and mission trips. And, for five years, Reagan and her family helped feed the less fortunate by serving at a soup kitchen and its mobile unit.


Marissa Snapp

Marissa Snapp has been accepted to Emory and Henry College in Virginia. She is the daughter of Wyndi and Jeremy Snapp with the Tennessee Trucking Association. Marissa’s career aspiration is to become a veterinarian. “Being a veterinarian has been a dream and desire of mine since I was young, and I plan to work toward it till I reach my goal,” said Marissa.

She is already well on her way. Marissa has more than 300 hours of community service at the East Tennessee Animal Hospital. She was also a member of the National Honor Society and has been a four-year varsity athlete on her school’s volleyball team. Marissa was awarded certificates for the highest average in her ceramics class, personal finance class and physics. She also helped lead groups in her church’s bible school for the past four years.

“This marks CVSA’s 20th year awarding college scholarships to exceptional high school seniors,” said CVSA President Chief Jay Thompson with the Arkansas Highway Police. “I’m proud to be the Alliance’s president during such a notable milestone. We all know how important it is to cultivate greatness in our youth. This year, the award program has given us the opportunity to help five remarkable young adults as they begin on their path toward the future of their professional lives.”

All scholarship recipients have been notified of their selection as award winners. CVSA was able to award the scholarships thanks, in part, to a generous donation by J. J. Keller & Associates Inc., a trusted source for transportation, workplace safety, human resources, construction safety and hazardous materials regulation compliance products and services.

The CVSA College Scholarship Award Program is dedicated to Gary E. Curtis. While working for the Virginia State Police, Curtis was an active member of CVSA and a cornerstone in the development of the roadside North American Standard Inspection Program. He came to CVSA in 1992, faithfully serving as the Alliance’s director of technical services. His efforts and contributions helped form the solid base upon which CVSA now proudly stands. Curtis lost his life to cancer in December 1998.

Information about the 2020 scholarship program will be announced in early 2020.