Miniature graduation cap on hundred dollar bills (Photo credit: zimmytws)

The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) is proud to offer financial assistance and public awareness about fire safety to students across the country. Through its online scholarship program, AFSAScholarship.org, AFSA is spreading the word about fire sprinklers and awarding $20,000 in scholarships to high school seniors.

The 2017-2018 contest is open now through April 1, 2018, and is available to high school seniors who wish to pursue a college degree or technical education. Ten winners will be randomly chosen, and each winner will receive a $2,000 prize that will be paid directly to the accredited educational institution of the winner’s choice, to be used for tuition and/or books for the fall 2018 semester.

To enter, seniors visit afsascholarship.org, where they read an educational essay and then are asked to take an eight-question, multiple-choice reading comprehension test. For each question answered correctly, students receive one entry into a drawing for one of the 10 $2Kscholarships. A total of eight entries into the drawing are possible.

The 2016-2017 contest garnered 70,742 entries — students reading and learning about the benefits of fire sprinklers, how fire sprinklers operate, campus fire safety, and careers in the industry. These entrants may then go on to share what they learned with relatives, friends, and others. Even the number of those who have not entered the contest, but simply visited the website is impressive — 185K unique hits! The message of fire sprinklers and safety is spreading.

Talking with winners of the 2016-2017 high school contest confirms they have been exposed to this life-safety message and hopefully will be sharing that knowledge with others. Winner Anna Newton who is studying nursing at UNC-Chapel Hill in North Carolina says: “I was looking up scholarships on Google and did not know much at all before this contest. They are vital to the safety and protection of your homes and families.”

Winner Zachary Duncan, who plans to be a meteorologist, states he now “understands how important it is to have fire sprinklers installed. The impact fire sprinklers can have on the safety of people and the preservation of property is enormous.”

Hopefully, the winners and others educated through this contest will now consider fire sprinklers and fire safety when looking into housing during their college years and beyond. It may even influence their career choice.

For individuals who have already graduated from high school or earned a GED, AFSA also offers the Second Chance Scholarship Contest. Although the 2017 Second Chance Contest has closed, the contest will open again in the summer of 2018. Those seeking to pursue a college degree or trade school education — including returning military, parents returning to the workforce, as well as high school seniors, are encouraged to enter. The Second Chance Contest offers five $1K scholarships annually.

Yvette Caslin

I’m a writer, image architect & significance marketer. Love photojournalism, creative expression & originality.