CHARLOTTE -- Dozens of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officers were honored at an award ceremony Wednesday, including two teenagers with dreams of wearing the badge. Justin Redfern, 18, and Matthew Bostik, 19, were this year's recipients of the CMPD officers Clark and Shelton Scholarship. The $5,000 award will help further the teens education and put them one step closer to becoming police officers.
"It's just an honor to even be considered for this scholarship," said Bostik.
Both men say they are grateful for the recognition, and honored to have a connection to the fallen officers. Clark and Shelton were killed in the line of duty in 2007. Friends and family started the scholarship fund to pay tribute to the men, and help future police officers.
"This really opened me up to the honor and sacrifices our officers make," said Redfern.
The high school senior plans to use the $5,000 scholarship to attend the University of Rochester, and then one day work for CMPD, the same department that's employed his parents for more than 20 years. Redfern even remembers going to work with his mom in communications.
"I see the sacrifices that not only my parents make each and every day for me and my younger sister, but also examples like officers Clark and Shelton,” said Redfern. “It shows you have to put it all on the line to protect the community."
And for Bostik, currently studying at Gaston College and enrolled as a CMPD Explorer, the scholarship means he can follow in his father's footsteps. He was also honored at the day's award ceremony.
"He called my dad a hero because he saved a life,” said Bostik. “It was just, right there I knew that's what I wanted to do. Hearing my dad called a hero ,it was pretty cool."
It's a dream both teens are one step closer to fulfilling thanks to two dedicated officers who sacrificed everything.
Both teenagers met all of the scholarship requirements and were selected with help from the widows of Clark and Shelton.