The Michael Lynch Memorial Foundation, a program that has raised more than $3.5 million to provide college scholarships to children of firefighters and victims of the September 11 attacks as well as other U.S. disasters, today announced its 2013 grant recipients. Among the 20 new recipients are 4 students who lost a parent on 9/11; the others are children of active or retired New York City firefighters.
The Michael Lynch Memorial Foundation began in response to a terrible tragedy – the loss of Michael Lynch, a son, brother, fiancé, uncle and New York City firefighter who sacrificed his own life on 9/11 in an effort to save others. Facing the ultimate loss, the Lynch family saw an opportunity to help finance the education of young people as a living tribute to the human spirit and the family’s collective resolve to respond to adversity with courage, strength, compassion and hope. The goal of the Foundation is to provide the means to help change the world, one person at a time, by helping the students of today become tomorrow’s stewards of peace and freedom.
The awards, which this year totaled more than $600,000, are given to students who have demonstrated academic excellence, participated actively in school programs and athletics, and contributed selflessly to their communities. This year’s group includes several students who – true to the Foundation’s core principles – demonstrated outstanding leadership and a strong commitment to community. For example:
— Ryan McDade, son of a retired New York City firefighter, helped to evacuate his family from their home in Rockaway Beach, NY, when it was flooded and later destroyed by a fire after Superstorm Sandy. A tri-sport athlete at Manhattan’s Xavier High School and registered lifeguard, Ryan’s heroic efforts were featured in several media reports, including a segment on ESPN.
— John Postel, son of an active New York City firefighter from Middle Village, NY, volunteered to assist with clean-up efforts in the Rockaway Peninsula in the days immediately after Sandy and continued to help for several months. (At least two other of this year’s scholarship recipients were directly impacted by Sandy, including one whose home was evacuated as a result of flooding.)
— Katherine Curran, daughter of an active New York City firefighter from Islip, NY, designed a September 11th 10th Anniversary commemorative pin worn by members of the NYFD [sic – FDNY] in their annual 343 Parade commemorating the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11.
“We are extremely proud of all 20 of this year’s grant recipients, all of whom have demonstrated excellence in their academic and extra-curricular activities,” said John Lynch, president of the Michael Lynch Memorial Foundation.
“In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the elementary school shooting in Connecticut, the Boston Marathon bombing and other recent events that have had such a profound impact on communities across the nation, we are reminded that the Foundation’s core mission is as urgent as ever – to help develop a new generation of leaders who respond to adversity with courage, strength, compassion and hope,” said Jonathan Henes, a restructuring partner at Kirkland & Ellis who serves on the Board of Directors of the Michael Lynch Memorial Foundation.
This year’s grant recipients are: Peter Acquafredda of Staten Island, NY (University of Richmond); Amanda Calzolano of Levittown, NY (Springfield College); Taylor Carangi of West Islip, NY (East Carolina University); Patrick Crorkin of the Bronx, NY (Boston College); Katherine Curran of Islip, NY (Rochester Institute of Technology); Denis Donovan of North Massapequa, NY (Binghamton University); Mark Egan Jr. of Staten Island, NY (University of Notre Dame); Melissa Esposito of Bellmore, NY (Binghamton University); Kristen Herchenroder of Breezy Point, NY (Stevens Institute of Technology); Thomas Kelly of Oyster Bay, NY (Franklin & Marshall College); Ryan McDade of Belle Harbor, NY (St. Joseph’s University); Chloe McHugh of Blauvelt, NY (Villanova University); Rhiannon O’Callaghan of Smithtown, NY (Marist College); Christopher Pinto of Staten Island, NY (College of Staten Island-McCaulay Honors College); John Postel of Middle Village, NY (Seton Hall University); Taylor Ricker of Rocky Point, NY (Salve Regina University); Jessica Seiter of Bethpage, NY (University of Delaware); Casey A. Spor of Yorktown Heights, NY (Syracuse University); Kristen Walsh of Highland Mills, NY (The College of New Jersey); and Christopher Wren of Bayside, NY (Colgate University).
To learn more about the scholarship program, or to make a donation to the Michael Lynch Memorial Foundation, please click here.