Families of Freedom Stories

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the scholarship that you have awarded me. Without it, I would not be able to attend Johns Hopkins. It has been a dream of mine since I was young to be a pediatrician, and knowing that Hopkins has an excellent reputation for medicine, it was a dream to go there. You have given me a life which I had dreamed of for so long. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I promise that I will accomplish my dreams, and it is all due to your generous scholarship. Thank you and God Bless you.
Timothy Miller"

Like Tim, each and every one of our Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund recipients has a unique story to tell. Below, you'll find links to just a few of them; click a student's name to read more.

Maureen McClusky's father was disabled during the 9/11 attacks, putting her hopes for college and law school in jeopardy. The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund and its generous donors, however, have allowed Maureen to follow her dreams.

Though Arlene Beyer's husband Paul, a New York City firefighter, was lost in the rescue efforts at the World Trade Center, she considers the FDNY to be family; when Paul's fellow firefighters told them about Families of Freedom, Arlene and her youngest son Shawn were able to pursue Shawn's first choice in colleges.

Eileen Cirri lost her husband, a rescue worker, on 9/11; thanks to the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, she was able to attend law school while still ensuring her kids an educational opportunity.

"The Families of Freedom Scholarship has been a tremendous benefit to me and my brother in pursuing our college degrees," said Evan Kanter of Edison, N.J., a Families of Freedom Scholarship recipient. "The Fund has allowed us the ability to focus on the parts of life that are most important to us. The first year after 9/11 was very hard to take, but the scholarship has relieved some of the financial burden from my mother, brother and me."

Amanda Costello's father worked at Thyssen Krupp Elevator near the World Trade Center; he entered the building to try to help others. The year before 9/11, he had realized his dream when Amanda became the first in her family to attend college.

Erin Fisher is the oldest of seven children who lost their father on 9/11. Thanks to Families of Freedom, she and her siblings will all be able to attend college. (The Fishers and their mother were also featured on CNN.)

Loisanne Diehl and her children stayed home for several days after the attacks hoping to get news that husband and father Michael was alive, returning to school when the rescue effort turned reluctantly into a recovery effort. Because of the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, all three were able to continue their educational progress.

Keeping Dreams Alive

Maureen"The Families of Freedom Scholarship sustains the memories of all those lost or suffering due to 9/11. It is so humbling that donors, who are seemingly strangers, can show such kindness and compassion. Scholarship America gives me strength and hope for a better future."

Register & Apply

The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund benefits financially needy dependent children, spouses, and domestic partners of 9/11 victims. If you are eligible to receive assistance, you'll need to complete a one-time registration; after that, you will need to submit an application each year.

Award Calculator

Use the "Planning Ahead" Estimated Award Calculator to stimate what the family is expected to contribute to the student's college expenses, and the amount that may be awarded to you for the upcoming academic year.

Email Updates