NEW YORK — In response to recent events in Boston and Texas, the College Board today announced the new First Responders Scholarship Fund to provide scholarships for first responders and the children of first responders to attend a college of their choice. This scholarship will be awarded annually to a student who performs well on the PSAT/NMSQT® and SAT® assessments and who has demonstrated civic engagement and leadership in his or her community.
“We all witnessed the bravery of police officers, firefighters and other first responders immediately following the Boston Marathon bombing and the explosion in West, Texas,” said College Board President David Coleman. “At colleges and universities around this country, campus security and other first responders work every day to keep students safe. Many of them develop bonds of trust and friendship with students in their care. They become guardians away from home. This scholarship honors the distinctive role first responders play in the campus community and in educating and protecting young people.”
The College Board will work with its member institutions to raise resources for the College Board First Responders Scholarship Fund. A College Board First Responders Scholar would be either a first responder or the child of a first responder who aspires to go to college. The College Board will seed the scholarship fund and administer the annual award. The amount and structure of the award will depend on the amount of funds raised. The College Board will accept contributions from organizations and the public. Those interested in donating should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The stories of those lost this past week, like those of so many who have died in similar tragedies, are linked by opportunity lost.
According to The Boston Globe, Sean Collier, the MIT officer who was shot and killed in Boston, “in just two months … would likely have fulfilled a long-held dream. Collier had scored high on a civil service exam, and was likely to be called to join the Somerville police department in June.”
In Texas, the Austin American-Statesman reported on Jerry Chapman, a member of the emergency crew from West who died attempting to save others. “Chapman’s life ended between two milestones: He had turned 26 earlier this month, and he was a week away from taking his final EMT exam.”
“These men’s stories remind us that the finest role of assessment must be to propel students into opportunity. In that spirit, we launch this fund. We cannot open the doors of opportunity to those who have been lost, but we can deliver opportunity to others in their honor. We hope that a generation of first responders and their children can follow a path blazed by the heroes we honor today,” said Coleman.
“We at MIT are moved that the College Board is honoring our own Sean Collier and other first responders in the Boston tragedy,” said MIT Chancellor Eric Grimson. “As a member of the College Board, we are so pleased this scholarship recognizes the courage of first responders.”
“The tragedy in West and the terrorist attack in Boston have touched us all as we share in the grief of the families and friends of those who lost loved ones, as well as those whose lives will forever be changed even as they recover,” said Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin.
“Thus, we are honored to have the opportunity to partner with the College Board in this endeavor to provide funding to honor first responders.”
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The College BoardThe College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success — including the SAT® and the Advanced Placement Program®. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators and schools. For further information, visit www.collegeboard.org.