PARK RIDGE, Illinois — The hardship suffered by families affected by a workplace tragedy can’t be understated. It’s the reason the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Foundation created its Family Scholarship Fund five years ago, providing educational scholarships to spouses and children to help reduce the financial impact of a loved one not returning home from work. The ASSE Foundation recently awarded $10,000 scholarships to Lindsey Pinkerton of Crete, Nebraska, and Samantha Wooten of Belmont, New Hampshire.
“We want to encourage people to continue their plans of earning a strong education following a devastating workplace incident involving a family member,” said ASSE Foundation Chair Dave Crowley, CSP, CHMM, STS. “Life understandably gets derailed during such difficult times, and we are committed to helping where we can.”
Lindsey is an undergraduate student studying art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She was 8 years old when her father died in a car crash at work. Lindsey remembers her dad giving her impromptu art lessons as a child, teaching her patience while showing her how to notice the intricate beauty in everyday life.
“He showed me how to look at the world through the eyes of an artist,” Pinkerton said in her application. “He made me a priority and set me up for success. So when he died, I made a conscious decision to continue to include him in my life. I’ve used the skills he taught me to express how I felt, and it made the hurt tangible and more approachable. Now I’m learning to help others unload the heavy weight of grief.”
Samantha is a graduate student pursuing a degree in forensic psychology at Southern New Hampshire University. She has been an instrument of awareness and advocacy for occupational safety since her father, a public works employee, was killed on the job in 2016.
“I received a phone call that would forever change my life, my mother’s life, my brother’s life, my daughter’s life, and the lives of everyone who loved my dad,” Samantha said in her application. “I try day-in and day-out to give my father a voice and help ensure this type of incident doesn’t happen to another person. I also want to build the best life possible for me and my 6-year-old daughter. Putting an emphasis on education is a great way to do that.”
The ASSE Foundation’s Family Scholarship Fund was spearheaded in 2013 by John Henshaw, former assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and should be completed online. Applicants must be a full-time or part-time student at a university, community college or trade/vocational school. The ASSE Foundation’s Board of Trustees reviews all applications and determines the recipients of the $10,000 scholarships.
The ASSE Foundation – the charitable arm of ASSE that was chartered in 1990 – receives contributions from society members and their families, its chapters, regions, common interest groups, and corporations motivated to support the occupational safety and health profession. It has awarded more than $3 million in scholarships and professional education grants, helping more than 1,300 students and professionals. The ASSE Foundation provides resources for educational advancement, leadership development and research. For more details on the ASSE Foundation and its programs, visit foundation.assp.org.
About ASSE – Working together for a safer, stronger future
For more than 100 years, the American Society of Safety Engineers has been at the forefront of helping occupational safety and health professionals protect people and property. The nonprofit society is based in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge. Its global membership of over 37,000 professionals covers every industry, developing safety and health management plans that prevent deaths, injuries and illnesses. ASSE advances its members and the safety profession through education, advocacy, standards development and a professional community. Its flagship publication, Professional Safety, is a longtime leader in the field. Visit www.asse.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.