Boston University Masters graduation 2021

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JACOB O’SHEA

 

Dear Silver Shield Foundation,

 

My name is Jacob O’Shea, son of FDNY FF James J. O’Shea, L127, who made the ultimate sacrifice on September 27th, 2003.

 

Words cannot express the gratitude that I feel for the support that Silver Shield has given me over the last 6 years. In 2019, I graduated summa cum laude from Syracuse University with a BM in Music Performance and a BA in Music Histories and Cultures, and this past Sunday I graduated summa cum laude from Boston University with a MM in Music Performance. The Silver Shield Foundation gave me the financial support to focus on my education, attend the programs that I felt were best for me, pursue my advanced degree, and the opportunity to make the most of my time in academia.

My father was a lover of music; he always had something playing, be it Billy Joel or Julie Andrews, on his off-duty days. When he passed, I found comfort in listening to the songs he’d play for us and singing along. As I move forward in my life, I hope to become a resource to those who experience loss and grief, to reach them through my work and to help them to heal, much like music did for me when I was young. I cannot thank Silver Shield enough for helping me get the training I need to reach my goals.

 

Sincerely, Jacob O’Shea

P.S. My dad may have been a Mets fan, but he raised a Yankees fan through and through.

Margaret is pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher.

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MARGARET McSWEENEY

 

Dear Silver Shield Foundation,

 

I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to the Silver Shield Foundation and their overwhelming generosity over the years. It is because of their dedication to families of fallen firefighters that my brothers and I have felt a sense of safety and care after the loss of our father, FF Timothy McSweeney.

My father lost his life to the Sept. 11 Attacks, and since that day my life was changed forever. Thanks to the support from the Silver Shield Foundation, I was able to graduate Fairleigh Dick­inson University with a BA in Literature and Elementary Education. I am now in graduate school to receive my Masters in the Art of Teaching (MAT). After I graduate this May, I hope to get a job teaching in the NYC Department of Education. My ultimate goal is to enlighten and encour­age my students to be the greatest versions of themselves. The Silver Shield Foundation has been a bright spot of hope through the tragedy that occurred on Sept. 11. I thank this foundation for allowing me to pursue the profession that I am passionate about.

 St. John’s University graduate 2021

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AMANDA MARIE RIVERA

Dear Silver Shield Foundation,

 

My name is Amanda Marie Rivera, I am the daughter of NYPD Police Officer William Rivera. In November 2004, my father, who was lovingly called Willie, died in the line of duty. Since then, I was fortunate to be raised by my strong and beautiful mom, Maritza Nieves. Even though I lost my dad almost seventeen years ago, it was the love and caring support from my “Blue” family in the NYPD and organizations like Silver Shield Foundation that helped my family and me along the way.

I am proud to let you know of my graduation from the St. John’s University Campus Ministry program called Vincentian Initiative To Achieve Leadership (VITAL). On April 28, 2021, a special virtual VITAL Commissioning (graduation) ceremony was held for my class. The program taught me about the values of Vincentians/Catholicism and how we can apply them to our daily lives, i.e., treating others with kindness and charity to those unfortunate, as well as leadership to change for the best in communities locally and globally.

If it weren’t for everyone at the Silver Shield Foundation, I would not have been able to attend St. John’s University nor able to participate in the VITAL program. I hope to continue to embrace what I have learned into my future career, education and life in general. Words cannot express how grateful I am to be offered the opportunity to experience my college years at St. John’s. Thank you Silver Shield for everything!

 

Sincerely, Amanda M. Rivera