KANKAKEE – A scholarship awarded in the memory of fallen Bradley Police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic and wounded Bradley Police Officer Tyler Bailey were announced Thursday.
Nanci Ramirez of Momence and Abigail Swartzentruber of Manteno were awarded the scholarships as they pursue careers in law enforcement and criminal justice.
“I’m honored to receive the award,” said Ramirez. “I didn’t know Marlene or Tyler personally, but you know that they were well-respected people by the outpouring of community support. I didn’t expect this scholarship, and I’m beyond honored to selected for it. Thank you to the families for creating this scholarship. It will be a blessing for me and many future students,” said Ramirez.
The scholarships were created in honor of Rittmanic and Bailey. Rittmanic is a 1994 KCC graduate. On Dec. 29, 2021, Rittmanic was killed while on duty and Baily sustained critical injuries during a noise disturbance call at a Bradley hotel.
“It was a huge honor to be selected for this scholarship,” said Swartzentruber. “Marlene’s and Tyler’s families were very sweet and it was amazing to meet them. Everyone should apply for scholarships. It doesn’t hurt, and you never know, you could receive more than you ever imagined.”
Ramirez and Swartzentruber each have received $5,500 scholarships for the 2022-23 school year. The Rittmanic Bailey Law Enforcement Scholarships were funded following a $100,000 donation to the KCC Foundation by Rittmanic and Bailey families, and Sgt. Brandon Jenson and the organizers of the “I Got Your Six” 5K Run/Walk held May 22. It’s planned that two scholarships will be awarded every year.
Current and future KCC students can apply for scholarships at foundation.kcc.edu/scholarships. Scholarship applications for the 2023-24 school year will be accepted Oct. 1, 2022 through May 1, 2023. More than $230,000 in scholarships to KCC students are available. Since 1969, the KCC Foundation has worked to advance the mission of KCC by raising funds that support the college’s students, faculty, staff and programs.