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Derrick Smith of Buffalo and Charles R. Cuzydlo of the City of Tonawanda each received $500 college scholarships today from the State Sheriffs Association.

Smith, a student at Erie Community College City Campus, and Cuzydlo, a student at ECC North Campus, are both criminal-justice majors.

The two were among 33 students at community colleges in the state who received scholarships from the association. The scholarship awards were based on academic excellence, financial need and a desire to pursue a career in criminal justice or a related field.

"It seems that this type of financial assistance is few and far between for criminal-justice students in our community college system," said Erie County Sheriff Thomas F. Higgins, who presented the scholarships. "We hope that by continuing this program in the future, we can assist those who have the ability and determination but not the financial resources to accomplish their goals."

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