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About The Ann Key Memorial Scholarship:
Candace Walker is currently the Director of the Atlanta Police Department Crime Laboratory. She began her journey as the only child born to Ann Key. Candace excelled in academics throughout her early education and graduated as class Salutatorian from Stone Mountain High School in Stone Mountain, GA. This achievement was bittersweet, however, as her mother passed away 2 months after her graduation following a short bout with a rare form of cancer. Following her mother’s passing, a $2000 collection was taken up by the faculty and staff to help with incidental expenses and to help with her ability to travel to college in New Orleans.
Due to her mother’s encouragement to seek out academic scholarships, Candace was awarded over $100,000 in scholarship funds in addition to an academic award from Loyola. This allowed her to pursue her interest in studying forensic chemistry without additional financial concerns. After graduating in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Forensic Chemistry, Candace joined the Georgia Bureau of Investigation where she worked in forensics for four years before deciding to join the Defense Forensic Science Center, formerly the United States Criminal Investigation Laboratory. She has used her skills to serve her country by being deployed to Afghanistan for 8 months in 2012 to conduct ballistics analysis for military cases and by deploying for a second time this year to mentor scientists. While being deployed the first time, she also entered Loyola University New Orleans’s Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration program and will graduate in May of 2014.
Because of the generosity of the faculty and staff after her mother passed, before deploying in 2012, Candace used her own personal funds to create the Ann Key Memorial Scholarship Fund for Stone Mountain High School students to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of her mother’s passing. This has become an annual scholarship and will be the third time she is awarding it. She feels that giving back to her community is important and that she has a responsibility to be a blessing to others as she has been continuously blessed.
Some of the personal beliefs and principles she abides by include: the belief that perseverance in the face of adversity is an admirable character trait, faith in self and capabilities is key, you either choose to use your circumstances as an excuse to fail or reason to excel.
“In this world there will be people that want to berate your dreams because they wouldn’t dare to dream big. Don’t let them deter you. There will be people you think should share in the happiness of your successes, but aren’t happy for you. Don’t let them sadden you. Keep your head up and remember God has the final say. Treat people like you would like to be treated no matter how they treat you. Your honesty and integrity will be rewarded.”- Candace Walker