The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Memorial [TSFFM] organization announced that twenty-three Triangle Scholars have been named for the academic year 2010-11 to receive scholarship grants. The new class of Triangle Scholars is TSFFM’s largest and brings the total of awards to $264,000 since inception of the program. The program has served seventy-three individual students and the first in post-graduate study this year. Eight siblings from four families are also among recipients.
TSFFM’s President, James McCarthy said, “Despite difficult economic times, our ability to sustain an even larger class of students is testimony to our hundreds of contributors and supporters who clearly recognize the needs of children of injured workers and, as our scholars list attests, the financial hurdle of families with two children in college.”
March 25, 2011 marks the 100th commemoration of the Triangle Factory tragedy where 146 men and women, mostly young immigrants, perished. While it is expected that next year’s 100th is likely to generate new groups with a multitude of events and ideas, McCarthy indicated that TSFFM will focus on its commitment to the scholarship program. “We – as an all volunteer group – have very limited energy and resources,” he noted, “and accept responsibility to continue to assist Triangle Scholars in achieving their educational goals.”
John Sciortino, TSFFM’s Scholarship Chair and President of the state’s Injured Workers Bar Association (IWBA), added, “Perhaps, the 100th commemoration will increase public awareness and result in even greater contributions to the Triangle Scholars program enabling us to expand our grants to a larger number or boost each individual award.” Sciortino added, “We are certain that the Triangle Scholars represent aspirations for themselves and of their families that might otherwise be frustrated for financial reasons.”
Barbara Levine, TSFFM Vice President, commented, “We had eight Named Scholarships this year, the most since we began the program. With a contribution of $1,000, TSFFM matches that amount which enables us to increase the class size. It’s a special way for donors to participate and, at the same time, honor those in whose name the grant is made. This year, the IWBA honored one of its past members – Hugh Brantley of Rochester -who had dedicated his practice to working with farm workers.”
Each Triangle Scholar receives a grant of $2,000 for an academic year. They attend both public and private institutions of higher education – community colleges to graduate school – across New York State from Erie to Suffolk counties. Students are nominated by their institutions upon verification by the financial aid officer that some of their financial means is derived from permanent workers’ compensation benefits. An application form is available by download from TSFFM’s web site – www.trianglememorial.org.