Acworth police sergeant receives GICA scholarship
Michael Taylor, a Criminal Justice student at Thomas University and a sergeant for the Acworth Police Department, recently received a $2,000 Board of Advisors Scholarship from the Georgia Independent College Association.
“I was surprised,” Taylor said. “It was also a relief to know that I was going to have some additional aid coming in the near future. With a full-time job, one that is not as awarding on the pay as it should be, two kids and trying to go to school full-time, there’s a strain on everything including the wallet.”
The GICA Board of Advisors Scholarship has been awarded annually since 2005. Recipients must be full-time rising juniors or seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher at a GICA member institution and demonstrate financial need.
Taylor, a law enforcement officer for 15 years, has worked in various fields including the SWAT Team, the Selective Enforcement Traffic Unit, and was assigned to the narcotics unit twice as an agent.
“I had many friends that worked in law enforcement and were involved in narcotics investigation,” he said. “I had always looked up to them and their jobs. After the military I attended school and worked in the family business until the opportunity presented itself for me to apply, and that is what made me want to be a police officer.”
Taylor said he chose Thomas University’s Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program after talking with several coworkers who were TU students and after speaking with the staff at TU.
“I felt like Thomas University would be a good choice to start my educational venture,” Taylor said. “The online experience is great. The professors are awesome. While working full-time I was afraid that finding the time to work on studies was going to be hard, but not with Thomas University. The schedule has worked out perfectly.”
The online degree was especially appealing to him.
“I have always been able to complete studies on time,” Taylor said. “If I needed extra time or assistance with studies, the professors have been more than glad to work with me. You get a sense of caring from the staff and professors; you feel as though they actually care how you do and are always willing to help where needed.’’
Taylor also gives back to the community through the Acworth Police Department’s Horizon League. The mission of the Horizon League is to provide children and young adults with developmental and physical disabilities the opportunity to participate in athletic, social and cultural events; develop lasting relationships among their peers, coaches and parents; and show them that they are an important part of their community by creating an environment of inclusion for both the kids and their parents. Taylor organizes a public safety pistol competition, The Shoot for the Horizon (www.shootforthehorizon), which raises money for the organization.
Originally from Rome, Ga., Taylor and his wife, Jenny, have been married for 15 years and currently live in Acworth. They are the parents of a 3-year-old daughter Jenna and a 9-year-old son Grant.