RISE Scholarships

2018 RISE Scholarship Winners$15,000 in Scholarships for Young Professionals

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

Through this scholarship program, five scholarships worth $3,000 each will be awarded. Scholarship funds can be used toward continuing education and professional development programs such as training and certifications.

Each scholarship will allow the recipient to complete a professional development course or education program. This scholarship is a win-win for both you as the applicant and for your employer. (Not part of RISE yet? Learn more here.)​


  • Five - $3,000 scholarships for continuing education and professional development
  • 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) 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

​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 membership@securityindustry.org.)
  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; 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:
  • 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)
  • Where do you see the industry going within the next 5-10 years? Describe what your ideal industry growth path looks like? (250 words max)
  • What is your most rewarding accomplishment thus far in your career? (250 words max)
  • What makes you stand out from others in the industry?  (250 words max)
  • If you were part of a team, would you consider yourself a coach, captain, or all-star? Why?  (250 words max)
  1. 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 10 points
EssayUp to 50 points (Each quetion is worth 10 points)
Applicability of the selected course(s) of study toward the stated career goal(s)Up to 30 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 2020 deadline to submit your completed application for the SIA RISE Scholarship has passed. Please stay tuned for details on future scholarship application windows.

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 course/program enrollment on recipient’s behalf up to the $3,000 value of the scholarship. If course/program costs more than $3,000, the recipient is responsible for the balance. If cost of course/program is less than $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.


2021 SIA RISE Scholarship Winners

2021 SIA RISE Scholarship Winners

Nadim Hammoud, Software Developer, Feenics

As a key member of the software development at Feenics, Nadim Hammoud has contributed to multiple new features in production and bug fixes, built proofs of concept for prospective clients and contributed new tests to the automated testing of the company’s web API. He has a strong interest in the latest technologies, including cloud computing and machine learning. Prior to his time at Feenics, Hammoud served as a teaching assistant at Carleton University and held engineering and software development positions at Bertrandt and Tactical Technologies Inc. He holds bachelor’s degrees in computer science and biomedical and mechanical engineering from Carleton University. Hammoud plans to use the SIA RISE Scholarship funds toward a computer and network security course, a professional certification in the field of artificial intelligence and attendance at industry events.

Olivia Peralta, Account Executive, Northeast and Great Lakes, Allegion

In her role as an account executive at Allegion, Olivia Peralta works with teams around the world to plan and sell access control projects – from teaching the company’s security software to implementing hardware installations hosted on the cloud for physical security end users. Prior to her time at Allegion, she served as an account executive at ISONAS Access Control and completed communications internships at Western Resource Advocates and the Oregon Natural Desert Association. She holds bachelor’s degrees in environmental sciences and communication and environmental studies from Northern Arizona University and a continuing education certification from Colorado Water Education’s Water Educator Network and is IPVM University Access Control certified. Peralta plans to use the scholarship funds toward earning SIA’s Certified Security Project Manager certification and pursuing education that bridges the gap between strategy, design and product delivery.

Matthew Rios, Regional Sales Manager, Axis Communications

In his role at Axis Communications, Matthew Rios promotes the use of IP video and Axis cameras to integrators, distributors, consultants and end users and maintains fluid and enthusiastic relationships with current and prospective customers. Prior to his time at Axis Communications, Rios held sales management roles at Hanwha Techwin America, Honeywell and R&D Lock and Alarm. He holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity from Fordham University and a bachelor’s degree in homeland and corporate security from St. John’s University. Rios plans to use the scholarship funds toward completing the EC-Council MasterClass Certified Ethical Hacker certification.

Mary Sharp, Human Resources Administrator, Stanley Access Technologies

As a key member of the HR team at Stanley Access Technologies, Mary Sharp is responsible for over 220 professional hourly, non-union service and install technicians and provides support on major change management and organization redesign efforts and issues pertaining to team cohesiveness, dynamics and management. Prior to her time at Stanley Access Technologies, she held HR and administrative roles at Stanley Healthcare, Infrasource Underground Construction and Frontline Private Security. She holds a bachelor’s degree in ethics and public policy from the University of Iowa. Sharp will use the scholarship funds toward obtaining the Society for Human Resource Management’s SHRM-CP certification.

Trevor Zuerlein, System Designer, VTI Security

Trevor Zuerlein started at VTI Security in 2017 as a security systems technician and now serves as a systems engineer; Zuerlein is skilled in access control security systems, security cameras, computer repair, computer science, technical writing and AC/DC electronics. Before his time at VTI Security, he held IT and sales roles with Time Warner Cable, Mead Lumber and Archer Daniels Midland Company. Zuerlein holds an associate’s degree in information technology from Central Community College. He plans to use the scholarship funds to pursue further education in the IT field, become a member of (ISC)² and work toward his goal of earning the Certified Information Systems Security Professional credential.