Matthew Pavelka Scholarship Awards Program

The Matthew Pavelka Scholarship Awards Program was established in honor of Burbank Police Officer Matthew Pavelka, who was killed in the line of duty on November 15, 2003.


The purpose of the Matthew Pavelka Scholarship is to:

  • Provide an award for high-school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding effort in pursuit of a vocational goal
  • To motivate students to dedicate themselves more thoroughly and responsibly to their education or training
  • To encourage students to strive for excellence and distinction in whatever they undertake

There was never a question as to the career path that Officer Matthew Pavelka would follow. After high school, he joined the Air Force, but only because he was too young to enroll in a police academy. He served for five years as a military policemen, received an associate of arts degree in criminal justice, and was intent on further pursuing his education in his chosen field, until he was tragically killed while performing his duty.

How to Apply:


The Matthew Pavelka Scholarship Awards Program was established after Burbank Police Officer Matthew Pavelka tragically lost his life to gun violence on November 15, 2003.  He was responding to a request for backup from fellow Officer Greg Campbell, who was also gravely wounded. The entire community was devastated.

Within 24 hours of the incident, our community responded with an abundance of generosity. The kindness and support from businesses and residents of Burbank, as well as our surrounding communities, was overwhelming.

Officer Pavelka’s parents, Mike and Sue Pavelka, graciously requested that all donations be used for the development of future leaders, in honor of their son, whose big dreams were extinguished too soon, too suddenly, and too violently.

The Matthew Pavelka Scholarships are awarded to high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding effort in pursuit of a vocational or education goal, students who have exemplified self-discipline and have distinguished themselves amongst their peers as deserving of high honors.  Through these future leaders, Matthew Pavelka’s legacy lives on.

Each recipient is awarded $2,000 upon official proof of completion of First Quarter/Semester at a recognized junior college, accredited college or university, public or private, offering academic, or vocational courses leading to a secondary education.