April 30th, 2017

Special Agent Joe Russ Memorial Scholarship


The $1,000 Special Agent Joe Russ Memorial Scholarship will be given each year toward one (1) recipient’s post-high school education. The scholarship check will be written directly to the university or college by the FBI Citizens Academy Foundation of Greater Cleveland.


Application materials should be emailed to joemruss@gmail.com or faxed to 216-622-6635 before midnight, August 31, 2017.

Applications will be handled in strictest confidence. Feel free to contact us with questions.


The inaugural recipient, named on October 17, 2014, was Olivia Bartolovic, a Solon High School Senior. Her application embodied the spirit of Joe Russ. Olivia aspires to be an FBI Special Agent.


Joe Russ joined the FBI in 1996 as an Information Technology Specialist. After 9/11, he applied to and was selected to become a Special Agent. His teammates always counted on Joe to volunteer his problem-solving skills when it came to a new challenge. He investigated Internet Crimes Against Children, was a Firearms Instructor, a SWAT Sniper, a long-time Evidence Response Team member, an exceptional leader, and a natural teacher. He was a kind spirit: a gentle soul who led through actions rather than words. When Joe died in October, 2013, he left the FBI a legacy of professional excellence, dignity, humility, and quiet heroism.

Joe Russ

Special Agent Joe Russ Memorial Scholarship Criteria

Each applicant must:
  • Plan to attend a two- or four-year college in 2016-17 (Current high school seniors can also apply.) Preference given to applicants with a Northern Ohio family connection and/or who are studying in Ohio
  • Have interest in working in law enforcement: as an investigator, agent, detective, or in information technology
  • Obtain one (1) letter of recommendation from an adult non-family member
  • Write up to a 750-word essay expressing experiences you have had that lead you in the direction of working in law enforcement; anecdotal examples encouraged. Discuss your motivations and why you would be a worthy recipient of the Joe Russ Memorial Scholarship.  Include ways that you currently strive to be a team player and a quiet leader.
Applications to be reviewed by the family of Special Agent Joe Russ and the FBI Citizens Academy Foundation of Cleveland, and scored based upon achievement in the following areas:
  • Strong representation of why you want to work in law enforcement
  • Ability to express yourself in writing
  • Exhibits self-reliance, initiative, teamwork skills, and a commitment to fitness

Contribute to the Special Agent Joe Russ Memorial Scholarship Fund: