After finishing his second tour of service in Iraq, Lt. Col. Dan Rooney was travelling home Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2006.
The pilot said as the jet touched down that it was carrying the remains of an American hero, Cpl. Brock Bucklin. All passengers were asked to remain seated until his casket was unloaded from the plane and welcomed by his family on the tarmac.
Rooney noticed Bucklin’s tiny boy grasping his mother’s leg through the aircraft glass. He realized that the boy would never again play catch, go fishing or spend time with his dad. Despite being an F-16 fighter pilot, it was a side of war he had never seen.
To his amazement, many of the passengers paid no attention to the drama unfolding below them, instead clamouring to get their luggage and proceed to their next destination.
Rooney knew at this point that the sacrifices made by military personnel and their families went unacknowledged much too frequently, and that something needed to be done.
Rooney founded Folds of Honor to help the families of America’s heroes. The organisation grants academic scholarships to the spouses and children of handicapped or deceased U.S. military members. Folds of Honor is now broadening its goal to assist first responder families.
HOW FOLDS OF HONOR WORKS
Folds of Honor’s scholarship programme is one-of-a-kind in many respects, offering support and encouragement to family members of military service personnel and first responders who have overcome significant adversity.
Folds of Honor scholarship monies are offered to the wives and children of any first responder, including police officers, EMTs, paramedics, firemen, and any people who respond to fires, medical emergencies, or other similar incidents.
Scholarships aren’t just for college; winners can use them to pay for private education or tutoring in grades K-12, as well as the expense of technical or trade school, postgraduate work, and even a second bachelor’s degree.
There is no limit to the number of dependents that can apply and adopted children of first responders are also eligible for the program. Active-duty first responders who have fallen or suffered a catastrophic, career-ending injury do not have to have been on duty when the incident occurred for their family members to be eligible.
The Folds of Honor scholarship program is designed to reduce out-of-pocket expenses related to education and is based on unmet need. During the application review process, the cost of an applicant’s tuition, fees and textbooks, as well as on-campus housing and meal plans for higher education, will be calculated and compared to other sources of awards and financial aid. If there is a gap, or unmet need, an applicant may be awarded a scholarship.
Upon acceptance of an offer, the recipient is asked to submit an official school transcript showing a 2.0 or higher grade point average for the two most recent academic terms.
Folds of Honor provides up to $2,500 per school term and the funds can be used for a wide range of education-related expenses. Costs such as off-campus housing, computers, parking passes or student insurance cannot be paid for using the scholarship.
Those planning on applying for a 2023 scholarship should keep the following dates in mind:
- February 1 – Scholarship application window opens at 9 a.m. EST
- March 15 – Have you submitted your application yet? Submissions dated 3/18 or after will not be provided additional time after 3/31 to submit additional or corrected information
- March 31 – Scholarship application window closes at 6 p.m. EST
- July 15 – Scholarship award offer notifications are emailed (exact date TBD)
- July 20 – Scholarship acceptance/Check-in 1 opens
- August 31 – Scholarship acceptance/Check-in 1 deadline
As a nonprofit organization with a 4 out of 4 ranking on Charity Navigator, Folds of Honor ensures that 91% of every donated dollar goes directly to its scholarship awards. People are encouraged to enroll in the Squadron donation program and make a recurring monthly contribution of $13, a figure that honors the 13 folds in the American flags given to the families of those who have fallen in the line of duty.
Folds of Honor takes pride in making a lasting difference in the lives of spouses and children of disabled or killed military members and first responders. To date, nearly 44,000 scholarships have been awarded, with 41% given to minority recipients.
Students who receive Folds of Honor scholarships see the award as a way to help further the legacy of their spouse or parent. The courage and desire to serve that first responders possess shouldn’t go unnoticed, and Folds of Honor is here to support the families of these brave individuals.
Visit Folds of Honor for more information.
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