When a firefighter dies in the line of duty, the family faces many challenges as they find their bearings and rebuild their lives. Oftentimes, children and spouses of these fallen heroes may not have the necessary funds that enable them to pursue their educational and career goals. Through the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s scholarship programs, the loved ones of the fallen can realize their educational dreams.
Applications are being accepted through April 1, 2018 for the 2018-2019 Sarbanes Scholarship Program which provides assistance to spouses, life partners, children, and stepchildren of firefighters honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial. Scholarships are awarded for undergraduate and graduate studies, vocational-technical training, and certification and job training programs. They may be used for study at in-state or out-of-state public and private schools.
To be eligible, children must be under age 30 presently and have been under age 22 at the time of their firefighter’s death. All applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalency, or must be in their final year of high school. Applicants must also be pursuing or planning to pursue undergraduate or graduate studies, a certification program or job skills training at an accredited institution and must be enrolled or planning to enroll as a full- or part-time student.
In 2017, the Foundation and its partners combined to award over $242,000 to 78 applicants who are preparing for careers ranging from Social Work to Mechanical Engineering. Of the 78 recipients, 44 previously received scholarships and 23 were new recipients.
In 1992, the U. S. Congress created the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. The Foundation’s scholarship program began in 1997 and is named in honor of U. S. Senator Paul S. Sarbanes of Maryland, a strong supporter of education and America’s fire service family who authored the legislation creating the Foundation.
Since 1997, the Foundation has awarded scholarships totaling more than $2,941,362 to families of fallen firefighters. With generous donations from Motorola and the NFFF partnerships with ICMA-RC, Global Health and Safety, National Association of Fire Marshalls, Global Health and Safety, The College Board our scholarship partners have awarded $799,895 since 2001.