“Natural ability without education has more often attained to glory and virtue than education without natural ability.” —Cicero (106 BC—43 BC)
There's a reason why Cicero's in the history books: Cicero was a smart guy.
There's a reason why the Firefighter Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund does not reserve its scholarships for the students with the highest averages. Or the best scores on a test of some sort. Or for those students who come “highly recommended.”
Who We Celebrate
This scholarship celebrates that student who can engage the judges in a topic taken from today's poitical or historical forums. Oftentimes our winners are not the top of their class. Sometimes they're the ones who more blend in than stand out for their academic accomplishments. But somehow they show us passion and skill when we ask our annual question. They show us a spark, a flame. They make an emotional connection with us through their words and ideas. These are the students we seek to encourage, the flames we seek to kindle.
What Sets Us Apart
Now, this is not to say that our scholarship winners are not routinely top of their class. Quite the contrary. It's just that our winners are not necessarily the top of their class, and that’s what sets our scholarship apart. We seek to level the playing field by removing all requirements except two: you must be an American citizen, and you must knock out our judges with an excellent, well-done essay.
Last year's question was answered well by many many students. Out of more than 120 entries, 8 of them became our scholarship winners, and we're very proud of them. Maybe this year you will win!