Over 100,000 Students Learn About Sprinklers
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/trade school 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 23rd year, the AFSA scholarship continues to grow, attracting over 244,961 unique visitors to its website thus far in 2018.
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 72,759 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 2018 are: Vanessa Castellon, Chula Vista, California; Isaac Dienes, Nelsonville, Ohio; Katie Kohlman, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania; Lilia Nikoomanzar, Chandler, Arizona; Daniel Popach, Marysville, Washington; India Richardson, Prince George, Virginia; Erik Simonsen, Redmond, Washington; Devin Wade, Vandalia, Ohio; Haley Wilkerson, Houston, Texas; and Zoe York, Cary, North Carolina.
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 afterward confirms they have been exposed to this life-safety message and hopefully will be sharing that knowledge with others.
Winner Katie Kohlman plans to study meteorology at Pennsylvania State University and now thinks that sprinklers “are an amazing invention that has and will continue to save lives.”
Zoe York, another winner, has learned that “sprinklers are necessary in every building as they can save lives by suppressing fires and prevent them from spreading.” York plans to study animal science at North Carolina State University.
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 30,642 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 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 2018 contest are: Sarah McCafferty, Boyertown, Pennsylvania; Gabriela Palafox, Claremont, California; Melanie Rodriguez, Los Angeles, California; Karim Rupani, Tucker, Georgia; and Lindsay Taylor, Greenwood, South Carolina.
Gabriela Palafox didn’t know very much about sprinklers before entering this contest. “I believe that they are necessary in all public and private buildings.” The University of La Verne sociology major is grateful for the scholarship as it will “alleviate my stress about paying for school and allow me to put my face on my schoolwork and leadership positions.”
Students Enter Online Both contests are being offered in 2018-2019. The high school senior contest is currently open until April 1, 2019, and the second chance contest will run again in the summer of 2019.
“We are proud to continue helping educate students nationwide about fire sprinklers and are extremely pleased to be able to help even more individuals pursue their educational goals,” comments AFSA Director of Communications & Social Media Nicole Duvall.
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.