Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre announced that the scholarship fund for graduating high school seniors in honor of Dawn Shivers, a retired employee of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, is accepting nominations.

Another scholarship, also offered by the sheriff through the Louisiana Sheriff's Scholarship Program, also is available.

The scholarship named after Shivers, who died in May 2013 fighting a long battle with cancer, remembers Shivers' kindness for everyone she met, her spirit and to encourage other who may have cancer to "keep pushing and stay strong," Webre said.

Shivers was diagnosed on Aug. 19, 2009, with bone cancer. "Dawn believed in God and always had an encouraging word for everyone she came in contact with. Dawn was loyal to her church, her family, and her place of employment; the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office," a news release stated.

Shivers started her career with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office in 1998 as a correctional officer at the Ascension Parish Jail. She shared dual roles between transportation, where she transported inmates, and acted as a correctional officer for more than 10 years.

In 2011, Shivers joined the Inmate Programs Division in the jail to provide support to the instructors and tutored students in the GED/ Literacy program.

"Dawn was always professional and dedicated to the program," Webre said in the release. "Her interactions with the inmates were always encouraging and positive. She played all the roles of a good steward in that she was a counselor, a guide, and teacher to the many inmates she helped toward them earning their GED while incarcerated. Dawn believed that the benefit of education, among the other rehabilitation efforts, would help them while they are incarcerated and after they are released."

"Most knew about her battle with bone cancer, but her attitude was always positive and upbeat," he said. "In many ways, Dawn’s spirit and service to her family, workplace, church, and community was her own personal ministry of help and excellence.

The Louisiana Sheriff’s Scholarship Program will award scholarships providing assistance to worthy Louisiana students in furthering their education and training with resources made available through the Louisiana Sheriff’s Honorary Membership Program, Webre said.

Scholarships of a maximum of $500 each will be awarded to graduating high school students from each parish where the sheriff is an affiliate of the Honorary Membership Program.

There are no restrictions on the purposes for which the scholarships are spent. The scholarships are not loans and will be awarded as gifts to defray rising costs of tuition and related expenses in higher education. The only limitations are that applicants be permanent residents of Louisiana; scholarships be utilized in higher education within the state of Louisiana; and students be enrolled as full-time undergraduate students.

Completed applications must be submitted to the sheriff of the parish of the applicant’s permanent Louisiana residence by April 1. The award will only be paid for attendance at institutions of higher learning within the state. Winners will be announced in May.

Applications for both scholarships are available from high school counselors and can also be obtained from the Sheriff’s Office in Donaldsonville and Gonzales.

For more information about the scholarships, call Allison Hudson, public information officer, at (225) 621-8653.