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Amanda Costello is a junior at Marymount Manhattan College majoring in communication arts. Her 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.
"My parents did not go to college," said Amanda, "but they’ve encouraged me and my younger brother and sister to get an education."
Amanda took a semester off from school to be with her family when she lost her father. "I moved back home and even considered transferring to a school closer to our home in New Jersey," said Amanda. "Instead, I decided to remain at home and return to Marymount by commuting 90 minutes each way."
Again a full-time student, she will graduate in the fall of 2004. Amanda works on Marymount’s newspaper, The Monitor, where she focuses on design and layout, and also writes some news stories.
"I’m grateful to the donors whose generosity is helping a lot of families like mine," said Amanda. "I haven’t yet decided what I will do after college, but I’ll have more options thanks to my scholarship."
Note: Amanda shared the above story with the donors of the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund via Scholarship America’s 2003 Interim Report on Families of Freedom. She has since graduated from Marymount Manhattan College.
"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."
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.
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.