By Irene Papakonstantinou
It was a bittersweet day for Ryerson student Kim Sweet.
The fourth-year early childhood education student was among the first recipients of Ontario’s Public Safety Officers’ Survivor Scholarship Fund.
Sweet, whose father was a Metro police officer shot and killed during a 1980 robbery, will receive one of nine scholarships totalling more than $36,000.
“It’s a wonderful gesture to get the scholarship,” said Sweet, “but it’s tough knowing that I wouldn’t have have got it if my father were still alive.”
Sweet will use the award money to go to teacher’s college after graduation. Her sisters, Jennifer and Nicole, also received awards.
Sweet wishes her father was around to see her accept the award — he was murdered when she was four years old — but adds she is positive he is proud of her and her sisters.
The Ministry of the Solicitor General created the $5 million fund to provide for the spouses and children of public safety officers killed in the line of duty.
“This kind of debt can never be repaid,” said Bob Runciman, Ontario’s solicitor general.
Children of all police officers, firefighters and correctional officers working towards an undergraduate degree are eligible. The ministry sought out families of officers killed in the line of duty, but urge anyone who may be eligible to contact them.