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Now Accepting Applications

Family Scholarship Fund

Every day, thousands of ASSE members strive to protect their fellow workers. Our members embrace this profession so that millions of workers around the world can go home at night in the same condition they arrived that morning.

But we know workplace deaths occur at a rate of twelve fatalities every day in the United States alone. We also know firsthand how enormous the impact of one workplace death can be to a family and a community. As dedicated and compassionate professionals, we want to support the families of those who have died and in some small way minimize the impact of such tragedy. We established the Family Scholarship Fund to provide financial assistance to families who have lost a loved one in a workplace incident.

The Family Scholarship Fund will provide college funding for families affected by a workplace tragedy. Our hope is that these scholarships, open to spouses and children of those who have died from a workplace incident, will minimize the financial impact of the loss while encouraging continuing education. We are not staffed or institutionally suited to offer many of the services that these families need, but our experience in scholarship management will allow us to assist families in achieving educational goals, crucial for long-term stability.

Men and women who die as a result of workplace tragedy remain in our hearts. Their memories stay with us as we do our work, and we will not forget them or their families.

Meet Terrance M. Hennessy

In March 2008, Terrance Hennessy conducted a site visit at a construction site in Miami, FL. While there, a crane collapsed on the jobsite, fatally injuring him. Hennessy (59) died at the site, while another worker died later at the hospital, and four other workers suffered serious injuries.

A vice president in the risk consulting division at Marsh, Hennessy was a highly knowledgeable safety professional who had been practicing for more than 25 years. He left behind sons Michael and Thomas and daughter Kristine. "He put a special emphasis on his family and kept a very close relationship with all of his children and grandchildren," said Michael. After their father died while working to protect the lives of others, the Hennessy family wanted to honor their father by supporting the profession he believed in so dearly.

The Hennessys created the Terrance M. Hennessy Professional Education Grant, an annual award for safety professionals pursuing continuing education or professional certification. "This grant has been created to support the advancement of knowledge and skills of safety and risk professionals in hopes that future worksite injuries and fatalities can be prevented," said Michael.

The generosity of the Hennessy family has and will continue to go a long way in educating safety professionals and hopefully preventing future accidents. Having to cope with their own tragedy, the Hennessys understand the challenges these families face. "We know how incredibly hard a situation like this is, and we want to help other families that share this burden," said Michael, "We hope to continue honoring the memory of our father by weaving the story of our loss into this great new scholarship program."

Former Assistant Secretary of Labor John Henshaw explains why we need to support these families

How to Apply

In order to apply, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be the spouse or child of a worker who died as a result of a workplace incident.*
  • Be a full-time student (12 credit hours or more) pursuing an Associates or Bachelor’s degree at a school within the US
  • Provide a college transcript showing you have at least a 2.5 GPA (high school seniors may show a high school transcript)
  • Demonstrate financial need in the essay portion of the application
  • Be a US citizen
  • Be nominated by an ASSE member
    • Nominating members must provide their ASSE membership number, phone number, and email address. Nominating members are expected to verify applicants’ eligibility for the Family Scholarship Fund, and will be contacted by the review committee prior to award selection.
    • If you are an eligible applicant but do not know any ASSE members who can verify your eligibility, please contact Brenda Kay Zylstra at bzylstra@asse.org for further instruction.

*The ASSE Foundation is grateful for the exceptional service of the men and women who serve in the US military. Thirteen scholarships in our academic program give priority to applicants with a military background. However, the Family Scholarship Fund was created to help the families who have lost a loved one in a workplace incident, which does not include military personnel lost.