Trenton, NJ - The New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA) announced today that applications for the Dana Christmas Scholarship for Heroism are now being accepted for 2009. The scholarship was created as a tribute to Dana Christmas who, at great risk to her personal safety, rescued students from a fire in one of the dormitories at Seton Hall University in 1991.
The scholarship, awarded annually, recognizes up to 5 students for their acts of heroism in the amount of $10,000. The scholarship can be used at any college that is approved for Title IV federal financial aid. “Ms. Christmas demonstrated courage beyond her years and prevented what could have been a catastrophic loss of life when a fire broke out in the Boland Hall at Seton Hall University,” stated Michael Angulo, Executive Director of HESAA. “Her heroism is commemorated each year when we award up to 5 new heroes a scholarship of $10,000.”
Candidates for the scholarship must be nominated and an application must be submitted on their behalf describing the act. Students must be 21 years or younger at the time of the act and at the time of the application. The application deadline for 2009 is October 15, 2009 at which time all applications are reviewed to determine which applicants meet the spirit of the scholarship through having acted in an extraordinary way at great risk to their own personal safety to benefit the lives of others. Students must meet citizenship and selective service requirements in order to be considered.
Last year’s recipient Shane Rawls, like Dana, was in the right place at the right time when a fire broke out in his home and he was to able awaken his family and help to safety. He then returned to the burning home to rescue his dog. To date, thirty-six students have been honored with the Dana Christmas Scholarship. “New Jersey is lucky is have heroes like Dana and Shane,” Director Angulo said. It is terrific to know that our young people respond heroically in times of crisis.”
This year’s recipients will be notified in November. Applications and nomination forms can be obtained at www.hesaa.org.
Since 1959, HESAA, a non-profit, state designated Authority, has delivered over $18 billion in financial aid. Each year, over 1 million students receive assistance from outreach programs and aid programs HESAA administers including Tuition Aid Grant (TAG), the Part-time TAG for County College Students, NJSTARS and II, the Garden State Scholars programs, the Federal Family Education Loan program, NJCLASS, and NJBEST. For additional information about HESAA please visit our website at www.hesaa.org or call our Customer Care Center at 609-584-4480.