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AFSA scholarships educate the public about fire sprinkler systems and benefit high school seniors and college students.

Learning About Sprinklers Through Scholarships

High School and College Students Benefit From Online Contests 

Since its creation in 1996, the American Fire Sprinkler Association’s (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 24th year, the AFSA only scholarship program continues to grow, attracting over 226,000 unique visitors to its website AFSAscholarship.org thus far in 2019. Each year, a total of $25,000 is awarded through this public awareness campaign to 10 lucky graduating high school seniors and five college/trade school students as they pursue their higher education goals. 

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 10 $2,000 scholarships. A total of eight entries per applicant into the drawing are possible. 

The winners were randomly selected from 70,387 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 2019 are: Julia Ahern, San Diego, California; Rose Cross, Hoagland, Indiana; Alexandra Dagdag, Middle River, Maryland; Anna Evans, Denver, Colorado; Abigail Hershman, LeClaire, Iowa; Elor Mayan, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Travis McGregor, Kensington, Maryland; Zuri Reaves-Thomas, Snellville, Georgia; Morgan Roegner, Highlands Ranch, Colorado; and Taryn Thompson-Garner, Tahlequah, Oklahoma. 

Winner Rose Cross admits she didn’t know much about fire sprinklers except that “they were important to have in public buildings.” After entering AFSA’s contest, she says, “I think that fire sprinklers should be required for every building, whether the building is open to the public or not. If one can’t afford a fire sprinkler system, it should be provided by the government.” Cross is attending Purdue University and studying political science. 

Travis McGregor knew “almost nothing” about fire sprinklers before entering the contest. And now? “I think that the technology behind them is incredible, and allows for incredibly localized fire prevention to prevent fires from spreading.” McGregor is attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute majoring in aerospace engineering and minoring in astrophysics. 

After reading the information provided within the contest’s “test,” Morgan Roegner notes that “Now that I have researched [sprinklers], I know how they work as well as how they help to stop fires from spreading. I believe that fire sprinklers are very important in keeping everyone safe in both residential and commercial buildings. This scholarship will allow me to pay for my education and go on to medical school to become a cardiothoracic surgeon.” 

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 27,503 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 procedures 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 2019 contest are Trinity Casillas, San Antonio, Texas; Josh Jinning, Tucson, Arizona; Nathan Rubingh, Lansing, Michigan; Ivy Wang, Marlboro, New Jersey; and Zamir Waheed, Plano, Texas. 

Winner Josh Jinning learned that “Fire sprinklers are a very helpful tool that have been overlooked and misunderstood.” He is attending the University of Arizona and studying astronomy. 

Zamir Waheed is studying mechanical engineering at the University of Oklahoma and says fire sprinklers are “brilliantly designed and very useful and can save lives if used.” 

Students Enter Online Both contests are being offered in 2019-2020. The high school senior contest is currently open now until April 1, 2020. The second chance contest will open on April 1, 2020. 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


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