All too often when a firefighter dies in the line of duty surviving family members may be forced to postpone or abandon their educational goals due to limited financial resources. Since 1997, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s Sarbanes Scholarship Programs have offered the loved ones of the fallen financial assistance to help them fulfill their educational dreams.
Recently, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) and its partners awarded $338,921 in scholarship money to 71 children, five stepchildren and four spouses of fallen firefighters for the 2018-19 academic year.
Of the 80 recipients, 47 previously received scholarships and 33 are new awardees. They represent 23 different states and will attend institutions in 29 different states and one Canadian province. Awardees will prepare for careers ranging from Social Work to Civil Engineering as well as Fire Science.
- The Motorola Solutions Foundation generously awarded $243,600 to 78 recipients;
- ICMA-RC awarded $24,500 to 14 individuals;
- Global Health & Safety awarded three $2,000 scholarships and three $1,500 scholarships for a total of $10,500;
- National Association of State Fire Marshal’s awarded ten $1,000 scholarships for a total of $10,000;
- Engine Company 5 Foundation awarded two David J. Edwards Memorial Scholarships in the amount of $500 each, two Terry Manning Memorial Scholarships in the amount of $500 each, and one Engine Company 5 Scholarship for $500 for a total of $2,500.
- The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation presented two recipients with inaugural Alan Patrick Sondej Memorial Scholarships in the amount of $47,821.
“The Sarbanes Scholarship Program is one of the most gratifying services the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation can offer to the families of our fallen firefighters,” said Chief Ronald Siarnicki, Executive Director of the NFFF. “These bright and determined men and women are an inspiration to us all and truly deserve these scholarships.”
The Sarbanes Scholarship Program is named in honor of U.S. Senator Paul S. Sarbanes of Maryland who was a strong supporter of education and America’s fire service family. Senator Sarbanes authored the legislation that created the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation in 1992. Since the program began in 1997, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation has awarded over $3,184,962 to applicants while its partners have awarded $905,216 since 2001.
The Alan Patrick Sondej Memorial Scholarship Fund is the first National Fallen Firefighters Foundation scholarship fund that is designed to provide scholarships that satisfy the full four-year cost of college tuition, books and, where possible, room and board. The scholarship awards made by this fund will be issued on a bi-annual basis, meaning that every other year, a new freshman will receive a four-year commitment.
The scholarship program aids spouses, life partners, children and stepchildren of firefighters honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial to further their post high school education. Scholarships are awarded for undergraduate and graduate studies, vocational-technical training, and certification and job training programs.
Scholarships may be used for study at in-state or out-of-state public and private schools. To be eligible, children and stepchildren 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. For more information about the 2018-2019 Sarbanes Scholarships and previous recipients, go to www.firehero.org/resources/family-resources/programs/scholarships/.