The Firefighter Christopher Santora Educational Scholarship Fund Website

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Joshua Forland:
2008 Winner
FDNY Engine 307

Joshua Forland

Winning Essay

The President of the United States has many responsibilities to help insure prosperity among the people of America. The decisions surrounding these responsibilities can and will affect America forever and decisions made now will be examined for the rest of history. Three issues that should be addressed immediately are the national debt, war in Iraq, and illegal immigration. The future President of the United States should also address long term goals such as healthcare, foreign policy, and oil usage. Each of these issues is very important and should be addressed effectively to give America the best possible future.

The newly elected President of the United States should immediately address our national debt. The national debt is around $9,293,458,294,078.64 and rises about $1.54 billion a day. This issue needs to be taken care of immediately by paying it off slowly because right now it is too large of a number to pay off at one time. The future president needs to set up a financial plan to repay this debt. One way to do this is to export more than our nation imports. By doing this, the president can put money brought in towards paying off the national debt.

Along with the national debt, the next president should address the War in Iraq right away. There have been many plans for the War in Iraq, but we need to get a firm plan for victory. President Bush has started a slow troop withdrawal, which is good, but we need to make sure we do not leave Iraq too early and leave the nation in ruins. The incoming president needs to immediately take a strong hand in the War in Iraq in order to restore a peaceful and stable state in Iraq.

The growing problem of illegal immigration must be given immediate attention. The next president has to make plans and take action to slow down and eventually stop illegal aliens from entering America. The president can do this by hiring more border patrolmen and/or send U.S. Army soldiers to help prevent aliens from entering America illegally.

In addition to short-term problems, the incoming president should take a serious look at a few long-term issues. One such long-term issue that should be addressed is healthcare. I feel that we should change our healthcare system to one that provides free healthcare for everyone. By raising taxes slightly and paying doctors a little less, America will be able to provide free healthcare for all of their citizens. Socializing medicine would mean that everyone in the country could be treated for their illnesses where they previously may not have been able to afford it.

The future President of the United States needs to do think about a change in America’s foreign policy. Right now, America’s foreign policy is basically fighting our wars in other countries now so that we will not have to fight wars in our own country later. I agree with this policy, but also I don’t think we should be the world police. We really need to learn to pick our battles better and settle disputes as often as we can diplomatically.

The last long-term issue to be addressed is oil. From what I understand we are trying to conserve our national oil supply. If we begin using our own oil, then we will not have to depend on buying from other countries. The political instability in many Middle Eastern countries often causes oil prices to increase dramatically. By lessening or dependency through using alternative sources we will save a lot of money which could be used to repay our debt. In addition to using our own oil, the next president needs to investigate economically-friendly alternative power sources such as hydro, wind, natural gas, electric, and solar power. This will free America from foreign oil dependency and will also boost the economy.

Ultimately, if the future president doesn’t address these issues, our nation will be affected in a very negative way in the future. If our president addresses these issues and acts upon his plans and ideas it will make America a lot better of a place to live in the future. Our nation will be very prosperous if our president works hard in getting plans out to the public.


My name is Joshua Forland and I am 17 years old. My dad is a New York City firefighter in Engine 307 Ladder 154 in Jackson Heights, Queens. My mom is a Real Estate Associate Broker for Coach Realtors. My parents live in Huntington Station where they have raised me and my 2 older sisters, Danielle & Erika and my soon-to-be adopted brother, Malik. I have also had 6 additional foster brothers & sisters throughout the years. They have each (in their own way) made such a huge difference in my life.

In 9th and 10th grade I attended Walt Whitman High School, during which time I was a member of the Junior Firefighters with Huntington Manor Fire Department. In my junior year I decided to transfer to Hillcrest Academy in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. I was captain on the varsity basketball team where our record was 21-7. I love to play basketball and I would love to play in college. I enjoy all kinds of sports including football, golf, volleyball, and lifting weights. I know what you’re thinking…Minnesota? It’s so cold there. Yes it is, but I love the people and my church. My experience there has been well worth putting up with the cold. I have been involved with so many community projects and have made many lifetime friends. It has made me realize so much about myself including how truly blessed I am in my life.

My future plans (although not set in stone) consist of attending Liberty University in Virginia or Community College in Minneapolis. I am considering majoring in physical education or landscaping architecture. I am also considering the U.S. Army reserves.

In reading about Christopher Santora, and the kind of man he was, I feel inspired to be the best example to others that I can. Thank you to the Santora Family for this wonderful scholarship.

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