First Responders Children's Foundation Announces 2022 CSX Pride in Service Scholarship Recipients

The Foundation awards a record number of scholarships to youth from across the country to pursue post-secondary education

NEW YORK, Oct. 04, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First Responders Children’s Foundation (FRCF), the national nonprofit that provides financial relief to the children of first responders who have been injured or died in the line of duty, in partnership with CSX, a leading supplier of rail-based freight transportation in North America, today announced the names of 15 students that will receive the CSX Pride in Service Scholarship for the 2022/2023 academic year.

The CSX Pride in Service Scholarships have been awarded to children of first responders in communities where the company operates, including a total of 192 scholars in 26 states. Each scholar is awarded a grant for a single academic year. Awards are based on financial need as well as academic merit, demonstrated leadership, outstanding performance in the arts or sports and community volunteerism. Recipients are encouraged to reapply annually for a maximum of four years.

“We are so thankful to CSX for their continued support of first responders and their families,” said First Responders Children’s Foundation President & CEO, Jillian Crane. “CSX understands the importance of giving back to these families, many of which have given the ultimate sacrifice.”

The CSX Pride in Service scholars come from diverse backgrounds and are pursuing a range of academic disciplines including accounting, economics, engineering, finance, history, illustration, law, and marketing. Many are following in the footsteps of their parents by entering fields closely tied with serving their communities, such as criminal justice and nursing.

“We are very proud of this year’s class of CSX Pride in Service scholars and we are grateful for our partners at First Responders Children’s Foundation that help make these scholarships possible,” said Bryan Tucker, vice president of Corporate Communications at CSX. “At CSX, we are committed to serving those who serve, which includes supporting the entire family unit surrounding first responders. It is such an honor to help them pursue their education, while perpetuating a cycle of service.”

This year’s recipients include:

Makenzi Whittemore from Kissimmee, Florida: Makenzi is an incoming junior studying Criminal Justice/Criminology at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. She is the daughter of a firefighter/EMT with Osceola County Fire Rescue.

Jacqueline Drago from Mechanicsville, Virginia: Jacqueline is an incoming freshman studying nursing at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. Jacqueline is the daughter of a Richmond Police Department Hit and Run Detective.

Sienna Palella from Ruskin, Florida: Sienna is an incoming junior studying Law/Criminal Justice at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. Sienna is the daughter of a Barnsboro Fire Department disabled firefighter.

Jadyn Cunningham from Barrington, New Hampshire: Jadyn is an incoming freshman studying nursing at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, Maine. Jadyn is the daughter of a medically retired firefighter/paramedic with the City of Dover Fire and Rescue.

Lauriana Waddell from Thomasville, Georgia: Lauriana is an incoming freshman studying Elementary Education at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia. Lauriana is the daughter of a 911 Dispatch Lieutenant with Thomas County Emergency Services.

Matthew Rivera from Spotswood, New Jersey: Matthew is an incoming senior studying Health Services Management at West Virginia University. Matthew is the son of a parole officer with the Fugitive Squad.

About First Responders Children’s Foundation
For 20 years, First Responders Children’s Foundation has been providing college scholarships to the children of first responder parents who have been injured or lost in the line of duty. The Foundation also awards grants to families enduring significant financial hardship and supports, promotes, and facilitates educational activities and programs created and operated by first responder organizations to benefit children or the communities in which they live. The First Responders Children’s Foundation Emergency Response Fund was established in March, 2020 to provide financial hardship grants, PPE, and hotel accommodations to first responders on the front lines of the pandemic. The Foundation also pays for funerals of first responders who have made the ultimate sacrifice. More information about First Responders Children’s Foundation is available at Follow First Responders Children’s Foundation on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram @1stRCF.

About CSX
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products. For nearly 200 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation’s economic expansion and industrial development. Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation’s population resides. It also links over 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and farming towns alike. More information about CSX Corporation and its subsidiaries is available at Like us on Facebook ( and follow us on Twitter (