Alycia Foti, daughter of Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) of New York Local 94 member Robert Foti (Ladder 7), is well on her way to becoming a doctor, thanks in part to the IAFF W.H. “Howie” McClennan Scholarship.
The scholarship provides financial assistance for sons, daughters or legally adopted children of IAFF members killed in the line of duty to attend a university, accredited college or other institution of higher learning.
Foti’s father paid the ultimate sacrifice responding to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Foti ran into the South Tower to help others to safety and was still inside when it collapsed.
“From a very young age, I have always wanted to help those who cannot help themselves,” says Alycia Foti. “My mother and I were looking at financial aid and scholarship options when my father’s local, Local 94, suggested we look into IAFF scholarships.”
Foti began her college education at UCLA and is now a fourth year medical student at St. George’s University School of Medicine (Grenada, West Indies). While the McClennan scholarship did not pay for everything, it has lessened the financial burden on the Foti family.
“The IAFF has not only helped me follow my dreams, but the union – especially, Colorado Springs, CO Local 5 – has also been very generous,” says Alycia.
Rosemarie Foti, Alycia’s grandmother, has attended the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial every year since Robert died and every year she has cooked pasta and meatballs, her specialty, for the members and their families. This year, for the first time since her father’s passing, Alycia attended the memorial service with her grandmother.
Alycia says it is such an honor to attend the Memorial and to have the opportunity to personally thank General President Harold Schaitberger and the IAFF for helping her achieve her dream of becoming a doctor.
Schaitberger presented Foti with a personal IAFF Challenge Coin. She now carries the coin with her every day.