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Quotes from 2015 IAFC Scholarship Applicants


"Education plays a vital role in the success of a firefighter as a professional and his/her ability to succeed in the fire service. Education can be costly but the benefits far outweigh the costs. This scholarship is a valuable tool to aid me in accomplishing my educational goals. Thank you, International Association of Fire Chiefs Foundation and the Motorola Solutions Foundation for this great opportunity." -Matthew Highstreet 


“I am honored to receive the 2013 Motorola Future Leaders Scholarship. My motto in the fire service has always been to never stop learning with constant and never-ending improvement. With this scholarship, I plan to persist with this motto by completing my Master’s in Fire and Emergency Management. The rising cost of education with the decline of city funded assistance has made going to school a hardship. The IAFC and Motorola have lessened my load dramatically, and it is going to help make my educational goals become a reality.”- Captain James Johnston II


“On behalf of myself and my family, I’d like to thank the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Foundation and International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Services (iWomen) for awarding me the 2013 Heather Westphal Scholarship.  This award will assist me in getting one step further in achieving my Bachelor’s Degree from Columbia Southern University.  My ultimate goal has been to obtain my college degree for the enhancement of my career and I am happy that I have been afforded the opportunity in doing so.  I feel grateful and privileged to have been chosen for this wonderful award.” - Lt. Sonya Armstrong

“I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the IAFCF for their gracious scholarship award. Last year I was able to attain my associate degree at a local community college. The scholarship will give me the financial backing to attend a university to earn my bachelor degree. I am working to show my family it’s never too late to expand your learning opportunities, even as an adult. The knowledge I gain will help as our department grows along with our city. Again, sincere thanks!” - Captain Joe Bongiorno


“In these times of economic uncertainty, this scholarship will assist me in achieving my academic success and help me further my career in public safety. With a family of 5, it is hard to find the funds to attend schooling to get ahead.” - Lt. Tyler Schmidt



“This scholarship means a lot on a number of levels as it will help to take some of the load off of me and my employer (who helps with some of the education costs). The most important aspect of this scholarship is what it means to my two young daughters and the girls I coach in hockey and soccer along with my role as an assistant Girl Scout leader. Working full time, raising a family, and volunteering for a number of activities along with going back to school takes a lot of work and I want to show my daughters and these young girls that anything is possible with a lot of hard work and determination.” -  Firefighter/Paramedic Jodi Halweg


“With this assistance from the IAFC Foundation, I will be able to continue to grow and learn as a leader in the fire service.  This scholarship will assist me in continuing to take courses towards completing my Master's Degree in Public Administration.” - Battalion Chief Jennifer Smith



“It is a great honor to have been selected as a recipient of the 2013 Motorola Future Leaders Scholarship Award. With restricted bugets, employees are having to find alternative ways to help subsidize tuition. This will afford me the opportunity to expand my knowledge and value to the organization.” - Lt. Stacy Carroll



“I would like to personally thank IAFC Foundation and the Motorola Solutions Foundation for the honor of being chosen. The Motorola Future Leaders Scholarship Award will allow me to finish my Bachelor’s Degree in Fire and Emergency Management Administration. While achieving this degree, I am able to be an example to my children, increase my knowledge as a fire service instructor and be a future leader within the fire service community.” - Captain Bryan Wells


“The scholarship provided by the IAFC Foundation will enable me the ability to continue my professional studies to gain a better understanding on how to meet the growing needs of both the community and the fire service at large.” - Beau Bevan



“The fire service is forever changing. This scholarship award will afford me the opportunity to continue my Bachelor Degree in Fire Science. I will be able to broaden my knowledge through continued education. A hardy thank you to the selection committee!” - CFO Teddy Wolfe



"I would like to thank the IAFC Foundation and the Scholarship Committee for selecting me for the Future Leaders Scholarship. It is an honor to have been selected from among a pool of well-qualified candidates. This scholarship will help me continue my pursuit of a Bachelor’s Degree in Emergency Management. Obtaining this formal education has long been both a personal and professional goal. I look forward to the opportunities such a degree will provide me to serve as an effective company officer and a leader for the future of the fire service." - Lt. Brady Casson


“This scholarship will help provide me with an education to continue my goals of career advancement. The generosity the IAFC Foundation has shown in helping me along this journey will benefit my department, my family and myself.” - Lt. Tim Riggs



I would like to thank the IAFC Scholarship Foundation for selecting me for this years scholarship award! Higher education will help advance my career with my goal of becoming a knowledgable and respected fire officer. I am eager to continue pursuing towards a degree in Fire Science Management and look forward to expanding my knowledge within the fire service. - Firefighter/Paramedic Brad Kavetski


“Being awarded this scholarship is a great help, Thank you from my heart International Association of Fire Chiefs Foundation. During these tough economic times each fire district struggles with it’s nice to know someone has our interests for education in the forefront; these funds will allow me to concentrate on finishing my bachelor’s degree in Fire Science Administration at Eastern Kentucky University. I encourage every firefighter to continue the education process, this only makes all of us safer at doing our jobs and provides for better customer service.” - Lt. Richard Wilson


“I am extremely grateful for being selected as a recipient of the 2013 Motorola Solutions Foundation Future Leaders Scholarship. As I prepare to graduate with my Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Protection and Safety Technology from Oklahoma State University, the value of a formal education as well as the practical experience gained from working as an intern with the Stillwater Fire Department, will not be lost on me. Organizations such as the IAFC Foundation and Motorola Solutions who value the importance of college-level education and support those aiming to achieve higher aspirations will allow future leaders to meet and overcome the challenges that await them in the ever-evolving fire service. Thank you to the IAFC Foundation and Motorola Solutions for supporting the future leaders of the fire service.” - FF/EMT Sean Morrison


“I am excited and honored to receive the scholarship this year. It will help me accomplish a major goal in my life of completing my bachelors degree, which may in turn allow me to advance in my career. - Captain Randall Reitz