Four local high school graduates received scholarships Thursday morning from Newport Beach police for their outstanding character and good grades.
Newport Harbor High School alumnus Jaime Chavez and Corona del Mar High School alumnae Sarah Hostetler, Ariana Naaseh and Melinda Green each received $1,000 from the Newport Beach Police Assn. The ceremony was at the Police Department's headquarters.
Green received an additional $2,000 for her 2 1/2 years in the department's explorer program, where she mentored 25 to 30 other young adults, said Sgt. Lloyd Whisenant.
He said when Green first entered the program she seemed a bit shy, but he soon found out she was anything but when mentoring others.
"I was shocked at how un-timid Melinda was," Whisenant said as he presented her with the award.
School Resource Officer Vlad Anderson described Chavez as a "quiet and unassuming" student who "possesses qualities that are difficult to quantify."
Chavez works a part-time job, is active in sports and "is an asset to his school, work and community," Anderson said.
Hostetler and Naaseh tackled four months of preparation for this year's Every 15 Minutes — a event that shows the deadly dangers of drunk driving — performed at CdM High without blinking an eyelash, Anderson said.
The two always said, "We got it, we got it" in response to the workload, Anderson said.
"They are amazing," he added.
All four expressed an interest in law enforcement and had a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Among those in attendance were Newport-Mesa Unified school board members, Mayor Nancy Gardner and Police Chief Jay Johnson.
"I hear a lot of negative comments about the youth today," Anderson said. "Kids such as these give me hope. I can only see the country and this community getting better because of them."