City of Berlin Scholarship Recipients

Current Recipients

Ryan E. Bonitz

Ryan is the daughter of a firefighter who was forced to retire from service due to respiratory illnesses related to his duties on September 11, 2001.

In 2014, Ryan was admitted to the competitive health science program at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. An excellent student, she has also been invited to assist with important building projects in Nicaragua. She is also a long-time volunteer at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

Kimberly M. Davis

Davis, Kimberly

Kimberly Davis’s father, an FDNY paramedic, was deployed to the World Trade Center on September 11th and was buried in the rubble when the buildings collapsed. In the years since 9/11, he has developed a number of debilitating health conditions related to the deployment. Kimberly and her family now live in Florida. Kimberly is studying industrial systems engineering at the University of Florida and hopes to graduate in 2018.

Kevin P. Flaherty

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Kevin’s father, an FDNY paramedic, was deployed to the World Trade Center on September 11th and was buried in the rubble when the buildings collapsed. In the years since 9/11, he has developed a number of debilitating health conditions related to the deployment which have caused significant finacial hardship for his family.

Juliane L. Forsyth

Forsyth, JulianeJuliane’s father worked as a firefighter for 22 years. On September 11, 2001, he was on duty with his unit. During the following eight months, Juliane’s father spent almost 15 hours a day working on rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site. Due to his work there, he acquired severe health problems and had to retire early from his work as a fireman. In autumn 2016, Juliane started her studies of Art at the Hunter College, New York, which she will probably complete in spring 2020.

 

Sean T. Gillam

Gillam, Sean

Sean’s father had already been working on a 24-hour shift when the World Trade Center was attacked. He was sent to the scene and continued to work there for the next three days. His exposure to the dust and debris caused health problems that later forced his retirement. Sean is studying mechanical engineering at the University of New Hampshire and plans to graduate in with a master’s degree in 2022. When classes are not in session, Sean works as a lifeguard on his native Long Island.

Kenneth T. Haskell

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Two of Kenny Haskell’s uncles were killed on September 11th and his father, who was also a firefighter deployed as the site, suffered long term debilitating health effects as a result of his work there. He was force to take early retirement in 2016. Kenny, an excellent student, is studying neuroscience at the University of Delaware and hopes to become a physician.

Jillian R. Hubert

Hubert, Jillian

Jillian Hubert, an excellent student, has long dreamed of a career in health care and is studying at Wagner College in Staten Island to become a physician’s assistant. Jillian has two German grandparents.
Jillian’s father was deployed to the WTC site on 9/11. Arriving after the towers had already collapsed, he spent the following weeks at the site in rescue and recovery operations. Since 2014, he has been permanently disabled as a result of his work at ground zero.

Kirsten B. Kaiser

Kaiser, Kirsten

Kirsten’s father was deployed to the World Trade Center on 9/11. When the towers collapsed, most of his colleagues in his unit were killed. In 2003 he was forced to accept early retirement to due to psychological after-effects resulting from his deployment. Kirsten, who sang at the official ceremony commemorating the 15th anniversary of the attacks is studying Theater at Wagner College in Staten Island.

Delia R. Mandia

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After the 9/11 attacks, it was days until Delia’s father returned home. For a long time, the family did not know if he had survived. Due to long-term effects of his deployment that day, he has been unable to work since 2004. With the help of the scholarship, Delia has started her master’s studies in history at the College of Staten Island, which she will complete in May 2019. After that she would like to earn her Ph.D.

 

 

Gabrielle A. McGovern
Gabrielle McGovern

Gabrielle’s father was supposed to work the morning of September, 11, 2001. But he switched shifts with one of his collegues. Many firemen in his unit died while on duty that day. Gabriella’s father immediately began working in rescue efforts at the World Trade Center site. Due to severe health problems caused by his work at the WTC site, he was eventually forced to retire early from his duty as a fireman. In fall 2016, Gabrielle began her studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Her scholarship is generously supported by the Stiftung Luftbrückendank.

Christian S. Montalvo

Montalvo, Christian
Christian Montalvo’s father was deployed to the World Trade Center on 9/11 and then assisted in the cleanup in the months that followed. As a result, he developed serious health problems that forced him to take early retirement at the age of 29. Christian earned a bachelor’s degree from SUNY New Paltz in the spring of 2017 and is currently working on his master’s degree in business administration. He plans to finish his program in spring 2018.

Jon P. Moran

Moran, JonPaul

The fire house in which Jon’s father was serving on September 11, 2001, was the second in Manhattan to receive the emergency call. Due to the psychological burdens related to his deployment, including the search for survivors in the days after the attacks, James Moran was declared unfit for duty and put on early retirement soon after the attacks. John is studying International Business at Fordham University.

Marissa A. Olsen

Foto Marissa Olsen

Marissa’s father and his fellow firefighters witnessed the first plane crashing into the WTC on September 11, 2001. Their unit was one of the first to arrve at the site, where they started evacuating people from the tower and began rescue efforts. When the towers collapsed, Marissa’s father was buried under rubble but was able to free himself after several minutes. In autumn 2016, Marissa started her second academic year majoring in Criminal Justice and Psychology at Elmira College.

Louis J. Pisicolo

 

Louis’ father was forced to take early retirement in 2012 due to poor health related to his duties on September 11, 2001.

Louis is currently studying computer science at the College of Staten Island.

Joseph B. Porpora

Porpora, Joseph

Joseph’s father was declared unfit for duty in early 2013 as a result of a variety of ailments caused by his deployment on September 11 and the days and weeks that followed. Joseph, who completed high school with exemplary grades, began his studies in computer science at Boston College in August 2017.

 

 Allison G. Schillinger

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Allison’s father was a leutenant in the New York Fire Deparment and was actively involved in rescue and recovery operations at Ground Zero. Once it became clear that there was no hope of recovering survivors, he helped tend to survivors at fire department headquarters and coordinated the burials of his colleagues who died in the attacks. He has been unable to work since 2011 as a result of long-term damage suffered in the days after the attacks.

The scholarship is helping to fund Allison’s studies in social media communications at the University of North Florida.

Mackenzie S. Schnaufer

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Mackenzie’s father was a New York firefighter whose health was seriously compromised following his duty on September 11th and the days that followed. He was granted early retirement in 2013.

Mackenzie graduated from high school in June 2016. The scholarship will help her to pay for her studies at Syracuse University.

 

Fiona E. Ward

Fiona’s father was on duty on September 11, 2001, with his unit, Unit 45. He is unable to work due to long-term health damage suffered as a result of his duties.

Fiona would like to use the scholarship to help finance her studies at New York University Steinhardt. Her goal is to become an English and Spanish teacher. She is currently in Madrid, Spain for an internship.

 

Madison H. Wright

Wright, Madison

Madison is studying journalism at Hofstra University, where she also works as a reporter and producer at the university radio station. She hopes to graduate in spring 2019. Her father was deployed at ground zero on 9/11 and during the months that followed. As a result, he has developed health problems that make it impossible for him to work and has been forced to retire from the FDNY.

Former Recipients

Jaime F. Berghorn

Jaime F. Berghorn was born in Oyster Bay, N.Y., as the daughter of Maureen and James W. Berghorn. Due to illnesses that have developed since 9/11 Lt. Berghorn left the department at the end of 2007 after more than 20 years of service.

In high school Jaime pursued the most rigorous college prep program offered maintaining an outstanding 97 average. After high school Jaime studied International Relations and Politics at Villanova University and graduated in 2016.

 

Justine E. Brancato

Justine’s father had already been in service as a fireman for 18 years with Engine 242 in Brooklyn before he had to retire in 2001 for health reasons. Justine used the City of Berlin Scholarship to fund her Master’s degrees in special education and psychology, which she earned in a five-year program at the College of New Jersey from August 2009 to the summer of 2013.

 

Thomas J. Carroll

Thomas is the son of a firefighter who was injured in the line of duty on September 11. In late 2005, T.J. Carroll senior had to give up active duty in the New York Fire Department for health reasons due to vision and breathing problems and has since been granted early retirement.

In September 2006, Thomas began his studies at Loyola University in Chicago and transferred to Fordham University in New York in early 2008. He graduated from Fordham with a bachelor‘s degree in the summer of 2010.

Chelsea M. Coyle

Chelsea‘s father, who served with New York Fire Department Engine 268 for over 15 years, was relieved from active duty in the fire department in 2002 due to severe asthma and ongoing cardiac arrhythmia.

Chelsea is using the scholarship to fund her studies in public health at Ithaca College in New York, which she has been attending since graduating from Islip High School in 2007. She graduated with a master’s degree in the spring of 2015.

Video greeting from Chelsea Coyle

Pamela G. Curtin

Pamela’s father incurred severe lung damage following the September 11th attacks and was certified unfit for duty.

Starting in August 2009, the City of Berlin Scholarship provided her with financial support so that she could earn her M.A. in early special education and childhood education from Manhattan College in New York. She graduated in 2014.

John F. Dermody

John’s father had to retire from the New York Fire Department in late 2005 due to health reasons. He now receives a service-related disability pension.  Starting in the fall of 2005, John attended Ulster County Community College in Stone Ridge NY, where he earned his associate of arts degree. He then transferred to the University of California at San Diego, from which he graduated with a bachelor‘s degree in 2011.

 

Samantha J. DiTucci

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Because of health damage and disabilities that he suffered due to deployment following the September 11th attacks, Samantha‘s father was offered disability retirement in January 2011.

In May 2011, Samantha completed her bachelor‘s degree in business administration at Loyola University Maryland and in the fall of 2011, she began the MBA program in Marketing at Hofstra University‘s Zarb School of Business. She graduated with her MBA in May 2013.

Nicole Forte

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Diana T. Greene

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Anthony W. Leonick

Fireman Anthony W. Leonick was on active duty on September 11, 2001 and his family did not know for some time whether he had survived the attacks. On January 28, 2009, the Fire Department board of trustees approved an accident disability pension, commonly known as a 3/4 line of duty disability pension.  Anthony Jr. graduated with a degree in Arts & Science from Farmingdale College in 2017.

 

Maureen L. McCluskey

Both of Maureen‘s parents suffer from physical disabilities that make it impossible for them to work.

Maureen began her studies at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with the help of the City of Berlin Scholarship. In May 2011 she was awarded her B.A. with honors in government and in fall of that year she began studies in Law at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana also supported by the scholarship. She graduated with her law degree in May 2014.

 

Joseph P. McGovern

Since his duty on September 11, Joseph’s father is unable to work.

In May 2008, with the help of the City of Berlin Scholarship, Joseph graduated with Honors from the University of Delaware in Newark, DE with a B. A. in his double major, Accounting and Finance.

Today Joseph is a finance anylst at a well-known New York investment house. In 2014, Joseph gave an impressive speech at the 20th anniversary of the foundation, as a representative of all the other scholar ship holders.

 

Christina P. Murray

On September 11, 2001, Christina’s father came late to work, which perhaps saved his life. Eleven firefighters of his unit (Engine 205, Ladder 118) were buried under the rubble of the World Trade Center. In the following days, weeks and months, Christina’s father spent an enormous amount of time at Ground Zero, engaging in rescue operations and cleanup activites. He had to prematurely leave his post at the New York City fire department due to illness resulting from that service in 2007.

Starting in September 2008, Christina studied at Adelphi University in Garden City, NY and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2012.

Video greeting from Christina Murray

Samantha N. Mussorfiti

Samantha’s father worked as a firefighter for the Hazardous Materials 1 department as a member of the 288 Detachment of Maspeth, Queens. He was suffering from an injury, but when he saw what was occurring on 9/11, he met up with his department and headed to the World Trade Center. In 2010, he left the department due to health-related problems.

Samantha graduated from Massapequa High School on the principal‘s honor roll. In 2016, she completed her pre-med studies at the State University of New York – Geneso, funded by the scholarship.

 

Matthew R. Parker

Matthew’s father was a Brooklyn firefighter who was declared permanently disabled in 2011 as a result of severe asthma caused by his recovery work at the World Trade Center site in the weeks and months following September 11th. Mathew now lives in Amityville, NY and is studying music at Nassau Community College. He one day hopes to become a music teacher. In the summer of 2016, Matthew came to Berlin and stayed with a host family. He attended a language school to improve his German and completed an internship at the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) Berlin. He graduated from Nassau Community College with a degree in music in 2016.

Courtney M. Phillips

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Joseph A. Pisicolo

Joseph’s father was forced to take early retirement in 2012 due to poor health related to his duties on September 11, 2001.

Joseph received his high school diploma in May, 2011, graduating in the top two percent of his class.

From 2012-2015 Joseph studied at the reknowned Cornell University and completed pre-law studies at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Video greeting from Joseph Pisicolo

Marie R. Schiumo

Marie’s father Joseph was an emergency medical technician who was deployed to the World Trade Center on September 11th and the days and weeks that followed. As a result of this work, he later contracted terminal cancer and died in 2012. Marie studied graphic design at Susquehanna University (SU) with minors in international diplomacy and photography. She graduated in 2016.

Brigitte A. Sykes

In 2002, Brigitte’s father was forced to retire from the New York Fire Department due to progressive lung disease developed during rescue operations on September 11th and the following days and weeks.

Brigitte graduated from Binghamton University with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2015. In the fall of 2015 she began attending Brooklyn Law School. In January 2016, Brigitte attended an internship in Berlin, where she lived with a host family and also visited a German intensive language course.

Emma E. Sykes

Emma Sykes was born to Joseph and Sykes in Manhattan in 1993 as one of four quadruplets. In 2002, Emma’s father was forced to retire from the New York Fire Department due to progressive lung disease developed during rescue operations on September 11th and the following days and weeks.
Emma earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from the SUNY Geneseo and will began a master’s program in Environmental and Resource Management at Binghamton University in the Fall of 2015. She graduated in 2017.