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Juniata Sophomore Has Idea for Scholarship for Children of WTC Rescue Workers

(Posted September 24, 2001)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- A Juniata College sophomore, seeking a way to help rescue workers who died in the terrorist attacks on New York City, has started a fund-raising effort to establish one full-tuition scholarship for a surviving child of a rescue worker lost as a result of the tragedies of Sept. 11.

Lindsey Roberts, a sophomore from Middlebury, Conn. studying elementary education, came up with the idea while discussing the World Trade Center rescue efforts with her father, Richard Roberts. "I wish I could take credit for the idea but my dad is the one who suggested establishing a scholarship," she says. "We were talking about how neither of us felt that we were heroic enough to run back into that building to help people and that it would be great to honor those rescue workers."

Roberts, 19, started her effort by sending an e-mail to Tom Kepple, president of Juniata College, proposing that the college establish a scholarship for the children of rescue workers who were killed in the efforts to evacuate people at the World Trade Center in New York City. Her e-mail read in part, "I have always been moved by the firefighters and police that give their lives for others. The (rescue workers in New York) didn't hesitate in putting their lives on the line when they had to know how dangerous it was. I feel pretty strongly about this since the families are comforted for a while, but the problems of the world are still around them for the rest of their lives. I think they should be made to realize how special their parent was and how the people of this country appreciate their (parent's) dedication."

"Lindsey had a great idea and we thought it would be very easy to help her bring her vision into an educational opportunity for a child of one of the fallen rescue workers," Kepple says.

Roberts began her fundraising by donating $50. Her parents, Richard and Trudie Roberts, donated $100. "I proposed a small scholarship of $500 to $1,000," she explains. "I know how hard it is to afford college with two parents working, and I thought creating a gift for the children of the rescue workers would help the families into the future."

President Kepple endorsed Lindsey's idea and decided to offer a full-tuition scholarship in a letter addressed to New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani Sept.12.

The day following her proposal to the president, Lindsay posted notices asking for donations across the Juniata campus. Juniata's Office of College Advancement is handling the establishment of guidelines for the scholarship.

Roberts, a varsity soccer athlete, has enlisted donations from teammates, faculty and other students. "I got so excited when we came up with the idea that I e-mailed President Kepple just minutes later," she says. "I thought I would just be the idea man and then fade into the background but everyone has included me in the project."

Gifts to the college made in memory of the rescue workers will be applied to the college's general scholarship fund. Those seeking to make a donation to the Juniata College scholarship for World Trade Center rescue workers can make a donation by dropping off cash donations at the college advancement office in the lower level of Founders Hall. Checks should be made out to Juniata College, with the memo portion of the check marked "Donation in Memory of Rescue Workers."

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.