A Recipe for Success
The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) is proud to offer financial assistance and public awareness of sprinklers through its online scholarship program, AFSAscholarship. org. A total of $25,000 is awarded through this public awareness campaign to 10 lucky graduating high school seniors and five college students as they pursue their higher education goals. Since its creation in 1996, the AFSA Scholarship Contest has sought to promote the scholarship outside of the fire sprinkler industry in the hope of reaching students who may otherwise never have recognized the importance of automatic fire protection. Now entering its 22nd year, the AFSA scholarship continues to grow, attracting over 146,743 unique visitors to its website in 2017.
Scholarships for Seniors For the high school senior contest, applicants must be a current high school senior planning to attend an accredited U.S. college, university or trade school in the coming fall. Applicants are required to read a passage about fire sprinklers – which describes their history, how they operate to save lives and property, and the types of careers that are available in the industry – and take an eight-question reading comprehension test. For each question answered correctly, the student receives one entry into a drawing for one of ten $2,000 scholarships. A total of eight entries per applicant into the drawing are possible.
The winners were randomly selected from 70,742 students who entered to receive a one-time $2,000 AFSA scholarship payable to their respective college, university or trade school. The 10 national winners for 2017 are: Miljana Djurovic, Des Plaines, Illinois; Zachary Duncan, Okemah, Oklahoma; Karolina Madro, Roselle, Illinois; Kendall McCulty, Los Angeles, California; Emily Miller, Bluffton, Indiana; Angela Murillo, Coachella, California; Robert Nelson, Winslow, Arizona; Anna Newton, Oxford, North Carolina; Cameron Smith, Redlands, California; and Sarah Sutton, Sandwich, Massachusetts.
Most of this year’s winners were unaware of the life- and property-saving benefits of fire sprinklers before entering this contest. Talking with them afterwards confirms they have been exposed to this life-safety message and hopefully will be sharing that knowledge with others.
Miljana Djurovic who plans to study accounting at DePaul University in Chicago states: “I learned about contest through my high school career counselor. [Fire sprinklers] are a fantastic, necessary, life-saving thing all buildings should have.”
Anna Newton agrees. “I was looking up scholarships on Google and did not know much at all before this contest. They are vital to the safety and protection of your homes and families.” Newton plans to study nursing at UNC-Chapel Hill in North Carolina this fall.
Karolina Madro “knew a little [about fire sprinklers] but learned a lot more from the articles I read.” After entering the contest, “I think they are very important and a necessity to have in every household.”
Zachary Duncan states he now “understands how important it is to have fire sprinklers installed. The impact fire sprinklers can have on the safety of people and the preservation of property is enormous.”
Second Chance Scholarships Applicants for the second chance contest must reside in the United States, hold a high school diploma, GED or equivalent, and be enrolled at or accepted to a college/university or certified trade school. The winners of this scholarship were randomly selected from 38,671 students who entered to receive a one-time AFSA scholarship payable to their respective college, university or trade school. Second chance students follow the same rules and procedure as the high school senior students for entering. For each question answered correctly, the student receives one entry into a drawing for one of the scholarships. A total of eight entries per applicant into the drawing are possible.
The five “second chance” winners for the 2017 contest are: Brandon Amatrudo, Northford, Connecticut; Paige Dunn, Ypsilanti, Michigan; James Kacsur, Furlong, Pennsylvania; Daniel Peganoff, Avon, Ohio; and Kyle Taylor, San Jose, California.
Winner Daniel Peganoff who is studying business accounting at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio learned the value of fire sprinklers: “They can save lives and seem to be very under utilized especially in single-family homes.”
Kyle Taylor notes that he didn’t know very much about fire sprinklers before entering the contest. “I now realize how important they are in fire safety.”
Paige Dunn is definitely more aware of fire sprinklers after reading the online materials required to enter the contest. “I think very highly of fire sprinklers in multiple situations. I am much more conscious about the safety and usefulness of fire sprinklers.”
Students Enter Online Both contests are being offered in 2017-2018. The high school senior contest is currently open until April 1, 2018 and the second chance contest will run again in the summer of 2018.
“The contests are designed to offer education about fire sprinklers year round, with the high school contest open during traditional school months and the second chance contest open during summer time,” comments AFSA Director of Communications Nicole Duvall. “Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with the message that fire sprinklers save lives and property, and to make students aware that fire sprinkler systems are something they should look for in on- and off-campus housing.”
AFSA scholarships are open to U.S. citizens or legal residents and are not based on financial need. For details or to apply for either scholarship, visit afsascholarship.org.