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Families of Freedom News

The Source

[Download the latest issue of The Source: News from Families of Freedom]

The Source is an annual news magazine featuring everything you need to know about the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund.

The most recent issue can be downloaded here. It features a fund performance update, a profile of the Polo Ralph Lauren American Heroes Fund, a feature on our new Facebook channel, a student-focused explainer of financial aid letters and much more.

In The News

September 11, 2019

$164 Million Awarded in 18 Years by Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund

Goal to Raise $25 Million by 2021 to Support All Dependents of Those Killed or Permanently Disabled in the 9/11 Attacks

The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund®—the largest private scholarship fund for 9/11 families—has surpassed $164 million in total scholarships awarded to more than 3,600 students since September 11, 2001. That figure includes over $12 million in needs-based scholarships to support more than 700 students during the 2018-19 academic year.

Established within a week of the September 11th attacks, the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund will ultimately provide hundreds of millions of dollars in higher education assistance to an entire generation of dependents of those killed or permanently disabled in the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath. The Fund will continue to provide education assistance through 2030.

“The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund is a tribute to all who were lost on that tragic day 18 years ago, said Rhianna Quinn Roddy, Executive Director.  “We have a goal over the next two years to raise $25 million by 2021, the 20th anniversary of 9/11 to ensure the remaining 3,000 students have the same opportunity as the initial group of scholars, and are equally deserving of this support.”


July 18, 2018

Third Annual Never Forget Tribute Classic at Prudential Center Set for Saturday, December 8, 2018 
Nationally televised basketball doubleheader supports Families of Freedom

Prudential Center has announced that it will host the third annual Never Forget Tribute Classic on Saturday, December 8. This year’s tournament features a doubleheader between four high-profile universities: the Florida State Seminoles will take on the UConn Huskies and the Clemson Tigers will face the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Both of the highly-anticipated match-ups will air exclusively on ESPN 2, and will also be available through the ESPN app. Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased at or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Enter the discount code “Freedom” at checkout to get 10% off the purchase price.

“We are proud to bring the Never Forget Tribute Classic back to Prudential Center for a third consecutive year and again partner with such an impactful organization as Families of Freedom,” President of Prudential Center Hugh Weber said. “We look forward to hosting these top four college basketball programs and leveraging this incredible event to give our amazing charity partner the notoriety they deserve, while also assisting them in surpassing their already impressive $150 million raised in post-secondary education.”


May 15, 2017

Bill Clinton, Bob Dole Spearhead 15th Anniversary Fundraising Campaign
The 42nd President and the longtime Senator co-chaired the original fundraising for the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund

Bill Clinton and Bob Dole on Larry King Live

Bill Clinton and Bob Dole appeared on Larry King Live in 2001 to announce the establishment of the Fund.

Former President Bill Clinton and retired Senator Bob Dole, co-chairs of the initial Families of Freedom fundraising campaign, have released a letter in observation of the Fund’s 15th anniversary, emphasizing the need for ongoing support as the true toll of the 9/11 attacks continues to expand.

They write:

“Last fall, we observed the 15th anniversary of September 11, 2001 – a day that forever changed 3,000 families and the world as we knew it. We remember the pain and the anger we all felt that day, and much of that lingers. But we were also uplifted by the extraordinary strength, kindness, resiliency, and selflessness shown by countless individuals across our great nation. From the volunteers who spent months at Ground Zero, to the blood donors whose lines wrapped around neighborhood blocks, to the people who contributed food or money – the tremendous outpouring of love and support unified this country and showed the world how a crisis can strengthen, rather than weaken, our belief in our common humanity. …

“The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund was established just days after the attacks to provide funds for postsecondary study to financially needy dependents of those killed or permanently disabled in New York, the Pentagon, or in Pennsylvania. We were honored to co-chair the fundraising effort. Since its founding, the Fund has awarded $136 million to 3,100 students, helping them achieve their dreams while making the world a little better for us all. We couldn’t have accomplished this without the generosity of people like you.

“However, since the inception of the Fund, the need has expanded exponentially – for example, the number of people receiving treatment for cancer related to the attacks has tripled since 2014. In spite of this – thanks, in large part, to the management by Scholarship America – the Fund continues to benefit anyone who qualifies. The increase in recipients has resulted in the award amounts covering, on average, just 50 percent of a student’s educational costs, down from 90 percent previously.”

You can read the full letter in PDF format here, and learn more about contributing to the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund on the Donate page of this website.

May 1, 2017

Student Spotlight: Nick Berger
Families of Freedom recipient and Villanova graduate featured in Scholarship America newsletter, The Scholar

Panic was all Nick Berger felt when his English professor slapped that semester’s syllabus on the desk. The top of the syllabus read “9/11 and the Literary Experience,” and the first assignment was to write about where you were that day when the plane hit the towers. Nick was on the playground. A teacher approached him on the swings and informed him it was time to go home. Confused, 8-year-old Nick went home to learn that his father wasn’t coming home.

At the time, Nick struggled to grasp the moment’s significance, but sitting in that class as a Villanova University freshman the weight of his father’s absence was palpable.

Nick rarely spoke about his Dad, but with the help of the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund he was able to attend Villanova University to be nearer in spirit to James (Jim) Berger,  a 1978 Villanova alumnus. The idea of spending a semester reading and writing about the pain was not what Nick imagined that experience to be like. After that first class finished, Nick approached the professor about dropping the course, but with some persuading from the professor, decided to give it a try.

“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” Nick reflected.