SIA RISE Scholarships


2018 RISE Scholarship Winners

Young Professionals: What would you do with AN EXTRA $3,000?

The Security Industry Association (SIA) created the RISE scholarship program to support the education and career development goals of young security professionals just like you.

FAST logoThe RISE scholarship program, powered by the Foundation for Advancing Security Talent (FAST), is open to SIA student members and RISE members who are employees of SIA member companies who want to expand their professional knowledge in the areas of business, human resources, information technology, marketing/sales, project management, security engineering and risk management. Donations to FAST in support of the RISE Scholarship program are tax deductible.

Through this scholarship program, selected candidates will receive awards for $3,000 each. Scholarship funds can be used toward continuing education, student loan repayment and professional development programs such as training and certifications. This scholarship is a win-win for both you as the applicant and for your employer. (Not part of RISE yet? Learn more here.)​

Support the RISE Scholarship Powered by FAST!

SIA's RISE Scholarship depends on the generous support from companies like yours. Help students and young professionals learn and grow their skills by making a tax-deductible donation to FAST earmarked for the RISE Scholarship.

2022 SIA RISE Scholarship Winners

(View the full press release here.)

Gracie Bishop, Student, Fayetteville Manlius High School

Gracie Bishop headshotGracie Bishop is a senior at Fayetteville Manlius High School in Fayetteville, New York, where she is a varsity softball player and a member of the school’s Student Athletic Advisory Council. Bishop has been recognized as a National Honor Society candidate and Spanish National Honor Society member and will continue her education next year as a freshman at Bryant University, where she plans to study politics and law and play on the school’s Division 1 softball team. She will use the scholarship funds toward her undergraduate tuition at Bryant University and is interested in pursuing a career in security and law enforcement after college.

Marquis Chester, Business Development Coordinator, Marketing and Communications, Securitas USA, Inc.

Marquis Chester headshotIn his role at Securitas, Marquis Chester develops and produces all marketing campaigns for the South region, designs and develops websites and landing pages for marketing pages, leverages search engine optimization for web content, performs a variety of sales enablement tasks, administers the gathering of campaign performance data and develops sales proposals for business development managers and prospective clients. Prior to his time at Securitas, he held roles as a marketing communications intern at the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and a digital media and web design intern for the Athens Regional Library System. Chester holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and entertainment media from the University of Georgia. He plans to use the scholarship funds to enroll in cybersecurity and marketing certification courses to further his education.

Kelly Ann Christensen, Marketing Coordinator, BCD

Kelly Ann Christenson headshotKelly Ann Christensen serves as a marketing coordinator at BCD; in this role, she assists with BCD International, BCDVideo and VSS social media content creation and management, coordinates physical and virtual events, monitors social media analytics and trends, creates engaging email marketing content, assists with web posting and content management and monitors and maintains external websites. She is a 2021-2022 participant in the SIA RISE Talent Inclusion Mentorship Education (TIME) program. Prior to her time at BCD, Christenson served in marketing roles at Scotsman Ice Systems, Orion Industries and Aaron Kendell Packaging Equipment. She holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Bradley University’s Foster College of Business. Christenson is exploring options to pursue an MBA and plans to use the RISE Scholarship funds toward student loan repayment.

Jill Frack, Senior Project Manager, Integrated Security Technologies, Inc.

Jill Frack headshotAs a senior project manager at Integrated Security Technologies, Inc. (IST), Jill Frack manages a $7 million+ project portfolio, coordinates cross-departmental efforts to meet project timelines and budgetary objectives and ensure smooth transitions, assist clients with scheduling on-site visits and provides updates to clients on installation progress, tracks project performance, maintains installation schedule and coordinates scheduling with other trades, develops comprehensive project plans, creates program management processes and templates and serves as co-chair of IST’s safety committee. Prior to her time at IST, Frack held project management roles at Opportunistic Consulting, Global Defense Inc., Amsec LLC, San Diego Hospice & the Institute for Palliative Medicine and Fisher Clinical Services. She holds master’s degrees in industrial/organizational psychology and business administration from Alliant International University, a bachelor’s degree in business management and industrial/organizational psychology and a human resource certificate from Moravian University and the Project Management Professional certification and is a doctoral candidate studying business administration in information and data science at Alliant International University. She plans to use the scholarship funds toward her academic classes and certification fees.

Suresh Jayabal, Lead Mechanical Engineer, Allegion

Suresh JayabalSuresh Jayabal joined the Allegion team in 2013 as a technical lead based in Bangalore, India, and currently serves as a lead mechanical engineer at Allegion Mexico, where he initiates, drives and supports new product development/productivity projects in a mass production facility and liaises between the stakeholders of the United States, Mexico and India. Prior to his time at Allegion, Jayabal held engineering roles with Ingersoll Rand, Pricol Limited and Hiwin Technologies. He holds a master’s degree in manufacturing management from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Park College of Engineering and Technology. Jayabal plans to use the RISE Scholarship funds to pursue a Harvard School of Business course on business analytics.

Jenell Jones, Materials Planning Manager, Supply Chain Leadership Development Program, Allegion

Jenell Jones headshotJenell Jones joined Allegion in in May 2019 as a global quality intern, then held roles as a materials project manager and a shipping supervisor and has served as a materials planning manager in the company’s Supply Chain Leadership Development Program since June. She conducts analysis of established procurement, financial and warehousing data from preexisting systems for migration into the company’s new enterprise resource planning system, collaborates cross-functionally to interpret and achieve opportunities relating to new sales and operations planning and purchasing capabilities and prepares project data for data mapping conversion upload during cutover. Jones holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Ball State University and the Certified Quality Process Analyst certification. She plans to use the scholarship funds toward earning the APICS Certified Planning and Inventory Management certificate.

Taylor May, Vice President of Sales, ZeroEyes Inc.

Taylor May joined ZeroEyes as vice president of sales in December 2020 and is responsible for the company’s sales, managing a team of high-performing regional sales managers throughout the United States, managing and creating a successful channel of certified partners, recording and tracking all calls/leads in Salesforce and increasing the pipeline, executing annual recurring revenue goals and ensuring an accurate pipeline for customer relationship management hygiene and reporting to the board on expectations, forecasts and market position. Prior to his time at ZeroEyes, May held sales and management roles at AnyVision, Pro-Vigil Surveillance Services and Bridgestone. He is the owner and host of the SecurityVIP podcast and holds an MBA from the University of Dallas and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Oklahoma State University. May plans to use the RISE Scholarship funds toward student loan repayment and security industry professional development in the areas of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, computer vision, LiDAR and sound intelligence.

Willie Strong, Program Manager, National Accounts, Stanley Security

Willie Strong headshotWillie Strong joined Stanley Convergent Security Solutions in June 2019 and is responsible for managing over $5 million in overall health for national account customers. Strong works directly with customer contacts to provide weekly account updates and project status reports, presents a quarterly business review with the sales team for customers to cover how Stanley is performing on key areas and leverages project management skills to effectively lead electronic security installation projects and service/maintenance calls. Prior to his time at Stanley, Strong held roles as operations manager, department safety and quality team leader and operation point of contact at the Target Regional Distribution Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric from Wabash College and the Lean Six Sigma – Green Belt certification. Strong plans to use the scholarship funds toward student loan repayment.


  • $3,000 scholarships for continuing education, professional development, and student loan repayment.
  • Open to SIA student members and RISE members who are employees of SIA member companies

How the Scholarship Can Be Used

Recipients may choose to apply the scholarship to any of the following courses or programs:

  • SIA program offerings (e.g., Security Project Management training seminars, Securing New Ground conference, SIA GovSummit conference)
  • Courses/programs/events related to information technology (IT), physical security, or cybersecurity
  • Relevant courses or programs offered by reputable associations, colleges, universities and private education firms related to your role and career in the security industry.
  • Repayment of student loans

​Official Rules and Requirements

A complete application, including all necessary supporting documentation (as described below), must be submitted by the deadline. All application packets will be submitted electronically, without exception. Applications not submitted by the application deadline will not be considered; there will be no exceptions made to this requirement.


Applicants must meet all requirements set forth below to be considered eligible as a scholarship recipient.

  1. Each applicant must be either 1) a SIA student member or 2) a RISE program member and an employee of a SIA member company. (Not a RISE member yet? Start by visiting our RISE information page or emailing Katie Greatti. Unsure if your employer is a SIA member? Check our member directory or contact
  2. Each applicant must have at least 1 year of professional experience in the security industry.
  3. Each applicant must be a full-time employee of a SIA member company or be a SIA student member; have worked for the employer a minimum of six months at the time of the deadline and be in good standing within the employer organization.
  4. Applicants must submit a complete, signed application, together with all supporting documentation, including essays and 1-2 references, by the deadline. The completion of the application form does not create an obligation on the part of SIA to award a scholarship to the applicant.
  5. Current officers, directors and key employees of SIA and the immediate families of SIA officers, directors and key employees are not eligible to receive scholarships under the program.

Application Process

Each applicant must complete the application and include supporting documentation as follows:

  1. The application form, completed with accurate and up-to-date information.
  2. An essay answering the following questions:
    • Please write a personal statement on why you chose to apply for the RISE scholarship, how the money earned would be utilized, and how your education will contribute to your long term career plans. (250 words max)
    • What do you think companies can do to embrace diversity and attract/retain diverse talent?  (250 words max)
    • In your opinion what is the biggest challenge and biggest advantage of being a Young Professional in the industry? (250 words max)
    • What is your greatest professional accomplishment thus far? What is one accomplishment you would like to achieve within the next five years. (250 words max)
    • How do you plan to take the lessons you have learned from your mentors/role models and apply them towards guiding the next generation. (250 words max)
  3. At least one professional reference (preferably two). Please provide the name, title, email address, and phone number for each reference.

Scholarship Selection Committee

The Scholarship Selection Committee (the “Committee”) will consist of volunteers from the SIA RISE committee. Committee members are volunteers and perform their duties without compensation, financial or otherwise. If the Committee is reviewing the application of an applicant who is an employee of the Committee member’s company, or if the Committee member is otherwise conflicted with respect to the applicant, the Committee member shall recuse him or herself from all deliberation and voting regarding the applicant’s application.

​Selection Process

  1. Only those applicants who meet the eligibility criteria and submit their completed applications and supporting documentation on or before the deadline (“qualified applications”) will be considered in the selection process.
  2. It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit a complete and signed application, along with all the supporting documentation, which must be received on or before the deadline. The Committee accepts no responsibility for incomplete applications, applications not in proper form, lost applications or any other submission not in compliance with these requirements or the instructions provided with the application.
  3. The Committee shall review each application and award points based on the applicant grading criteria set forth below. As noted above, a committee member with a conflict with respect to any applicant shall not participate in the review or grading of that applicant’s application and supporting materials.
  4. The scholarship award will be based on the Committee’s scores of the overall quality of the application and the scholarship essays. The five applications receiving the highest scores shall be awarded scholarships. In the case of a tie, the SIA CEO will make the final decision.
  5. Scholarship selection shall be made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, veteran status or any other category protected by federal, state or local law. Conversely, an applicant will not be selected solely based on one or more of the categories identified above.
  6. The decision of the Committee is final and not subject to review.
  7. All deliberations and decisions of the Committee shall be recorded in Committee meeting minutes, which shall be drafted contemporaneously with the review and decisions of the Committee.

Applicant Grading Criteria

The following applicant grading criteria will be followed by members of the Committee in reviewing applications and determining those applicants that will be granted scholarships:

Fulfilled all eligibility requirementsUp to 10 points
ReferencesUp to 20 points
EssayUp to 50 points (Each question is worth 10 points)
Applicability of the selected course(s) of study toward the stated career goal(s)Up to 20 points
Up to 100 points

Award Date​

All applicants will be notified via email, regardless if selected as a recipient or not, by the award date regarding the status of their scholarship application.


The application window for the 2023 SIA RISE Scholarship opens Aug. 3, 2022, and closes Sept. 23, 2022.

Award Redemption

Each recipient must enroll in the approved course within 12 months of being awarded the scholarship and coordinate with SIA for course fee payment. SIA will pay for the course/program enrollment on the recipient’s behalf up to the $3,000 value of the scholarship. If the course/program costs more than $3,000, the recipient is responsible for the balance. If the cost of the course/program is less than the $3,000 scholarship award, the recipient will have a credit to use on related professional development within a 12-month period.

The scholarship money covers course entry fees or program attendance fees but will not cover study materials, travel costs or any other items related to the course.

Applications are closed for the 2023 SIA RISE Scholarship. stay tuned for details on applying for next year's award!


  • Funding of the scholarship program is achieved through contributions by individual members of SIA and member corporate support.
  • Unless specifically designated by a donor, contributions will be made toward the general scholarship fund.

Tax Deductibility Status

The SIA RISE Scholarship powered by FAST is made possible with the generous support of our donors. Your donation to FAST, earmarked for the RISE Scholarship, is tax deductible.