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Riley Burnell Criminal Justice Memorial Scholarship

Scholarship Sponsored by Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation

Value: $2,500
Awards Available: 1
Deadline : Feb 15, 2024

The Riley Burnell Criminal Justice Memorial Scholarship Fund honors the memory of Riley Burnell by awarding a college scholarship to a student from Koochiching County who is interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice. 


The fund prefers that scholarship recipients seek a four-year degree. But those entering a program that provides other training for a career in law enforcement are eligible. 

Applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.0. Generally, awards are divided into spring and fall installments and are renewable for four years, assuming proper academic progress (GPA of 2.5 or greater). 


Riley Burnell was born in 1988 in International Falls. Even as a boy, he wanted to be a police officer. He graduated from Rainy River Community College, Bemidji State University and Alexandria Technical College. He worked part-time for the Koochiching County Sheriff’s Office and the International Falls Police Department. In 2012, Riley and his wife were taking a day trip to Duluth when a distracted driver crossed the center line and hit their car head-on, killing them both. 

Riley had only worked at both police agencies for about a year and one-half, but he made such an impact that both departments retired his badge number.

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