On Feb. 14, 2019, the family of fallen officer Diego Moreno established the Diego Moreno Scholarship, to be awarded to a Kent student who has demonstrated a commitment to serving his or her community, and intends to use his or her education to make the world a better place.
As many of our Readers will recall, Moreno was tragically killed on July 22, 2018 when another deputy’s car struck him during a pursuit near Reith Road and Kent-Des Moines Road.
This new scholarship was established with the Kent Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving the greater Kent, Washington community since 1986. Since its founding, Kent Community Foundation has awarded $372,400 in scholarships and $491,000 in grants.
In the words of Diego’s mother Lizzie Lee, the scholarship will:
“Honor Diego’s life through the powerful legacy he left. A legacy of love and service that must live on.”
The scholarship committee will include Lizzie Lee; his wife Shelly Moreno; his sister, Alejandra Moreno; a representative of the Kent Police Foundation; and two members from the Kent Community Foundation.
The scholarship is supported by the Kent Police Foundation.
“The establishment of the Diego Moreno scholarship ensures that his passion for community service, engagement with our youth and the pursuit of the American dream will live on through the exceptional students who will receive the scholarship,” said Kent Police Department Chief Rafael Padilla.
FUNDRAISER ON SATURDAY, MAR. 16
In support of the scholarship, a community fundraiser will be held on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 6 p.m. at Kent Meridian High School. Tickets are $20 per person, and can be purchased online at the Kent Community Foundation website or at the door. Donations to the Diego Moreno Scholarship can also be made online at the Kent Community Foundation website:
About Diego Moreno
Growing up in Venezuela, Diego was raised to be the first to help, and he practiced this by always putting others before himself. At his high school graduation, he was recognized for his personal dedication to exemplifying the pillars of an Ignatian education: conscience, competence, compassion and commitment. St. Ignatius of Loyola was his high school’s patron saint, and Diego lived and died following his principles to love and serve in all things: “En todo amar y servir.” Diego’s love and service are his legacy.
During his eight years as a Kent Police Officer, Diego served with compassion and chose assignments that put him in a position to care and help the members of his community. Through his work, he touched countless lives and earned many awards, including:
- three Life-Saving Medals: one for saving the life of a boy who had drowned (2011); one for rescuing an elderly woman from a burning building (2016); and one for resuscitating a woman who had overdosed (2017);
- the Chief’s Award of Exceptional Duty: for crawling to assist other officers, after he was injured by a suspect, rendering him unable to walk (2015); and
- the Award of Duty and Sacrifice (awarded posthumously).
In addition to his law enforcement service, Diego volunteered with Shop with a Cop, served tables at the Tip a Cop Fundraiser to support Special Olympics, and grew his hair for donation.
Above all, Diego was a beloved son, husband, father, and brother.