On September 11, 2001, 19 terrorist hijackers from Saudi Arabia and several other Arab nations boarded four airplanes at three East Coast airports and killed nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon building in Washington D.C., and in Pennsylvania. Of those people killed were 400 police officers and firefighters. Eighteen people were rescued alive from the rubble of the World Trade Center site.
The 9/11 attacks were not only the single deadliest terrorist attack in human history, but the deadliest incident ever for firefighters and law enforcement officers. After the attack, more than 600 firefighters in New York were forced into retirement because of exposure from hazardous waste.
The Electronic Security Association (ESA) is the leading trade association in the US, representing the electronic security and life safety industry. Members of the association install, integrate and monitor intrusion and fire detection, video surveillance and electronic access control systems for commercial, residential, industrial and governmental clients. With the industry’s close relationship with and appreciation for our first responders, ESA gives back on behalf of its members, providing college scholarship awards throughout the country to the sons and daughters of those individuals who run into the face of danger, while most are running away.
Over the course of over two decades, ESA’s Youth Scholarship Program has awarded over $771,000 to the children of those who serve our community.
In 2019, over $70,000 was awarded to college-bound students from coast to coast, including the national first place winner, Emma Fatzaun of Sims, North Carolina. She attended James B. Hunt High School in Wilson, North Carolina where she was a 4.0 student. Emma just was welcomed at Harvard University, where she is majoring in biochemistry and plans to pursue a future in medical research. Emma says her dad, Captain and Lead Fireman John Fatzaun, has inspired her to fight her own fires.
She also says her father, “embodies how a person should act in times of stress – how to respond in time of hardship. How one should persevere through life’s victories and defeats.”
Emma is pursuing her passion for science and believes she will pave the way for other women to pursue careers in the STEM field.
To learn more about the Youth Scholarship program go to https://esaweb.org/Programs/Youth-Scholarship.