FRCF Announces 2023 CSX Pride in Service Scholarship Recipients

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Largest Number of Scholarship Awards in Organization’s 22-Year History

New York, NY – Sept. 6 – First Responders Children’s Foundation (FRCF), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the children of U.S. first responders, today announced in partnership with CSX, a leading supplier of rail-based freight transportation in North America, the names of 10 students who will receive the CSX Pride in Service Scholarship for the 2023/2024 academic year. FRCF and CSX have awarded a total of $100,000 in scholarship funds in 2023 to children of first responders in communities where the company operates, including a total of 240 scholars in 25 states.

Please see a special “reveal” video here

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. CSX Pride in Service scholars also show an interest in pursuing a life of service to society, as demonstrated by their first responder parent(s).

“Children of first responders face unique challenges, and FRCF is enormously grateful to CSX for its continued support of our efforts,” said First Responders Children’s Foundation President & CEO, Jillian Crane. “These young adults grow up watching their parent or parents head into harm’s way every day, and, tragically, some lose parents to the job. CSX understands the importance of supporting these children, and these scholarships will go a long way in helping this special group of youth pursue their higher education.” 

“CSX is committed to serving those who serve, our nation’s military, veterans and of course, first responders. We’re honored to empower these scholars as they work toward their degrees and to perpetuate a cycle of service, inspired by their parents.” said Bryan Tucker, vice president of Corporate Communications at CSX.  

This year’s recipients include:

● Emma Braun from Gainesville, FL: Emma is a graduate student attending Santa Fe College to study exercise and sports science. Emma’s father was a firefighter who passed away due to work-related cancer and her mother is an EMS Captain.

● Darius Butler from Smyrna, TN: Darius is an incoming freshman attending Tennessee State University to study nursing. Darius’s father is an Operation Chief for the Nashville Fire Department.

● Maeve Colburn from Walpole, MA: Maeve is an incoming sophomore attending Regis College to study nursing. Maeve’s father is a medically retired police officer due to a line of duty disability. 

● Rena Gilbertson from Pinellas, FL: Rena is an incoming senior at University of South Florida studying nursing. Rena’s father was a firefighter who passed away due to work-related cancer in November 2022. 

● Aniya Irvin from Murfreesboro (Nashville), TN: Aniya is an incoming freshman attending Alabama A&M University to study psychology. Aniya’s father is a Captain with the Nashville Fire Department. 

● Nasir Monteiro from East Bridgewater, MA: Nasir is an incoming freshman attending Merrimack College to study communications and media. Nasir’s mother is an EMT.

● Timothy O’Connor from Jensen Beach, FL: Timothy is a first year law student attending Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Timothy’s father is a retired NYPD police officer who responded to 9/11.

● Maurice Oldham from Chicago, IL: Maurice is an incoming sophomore attending University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh to study criminal justice. His father is an active officer with the Chicago Police Department.

● Natalie Taunton from Jacksonville, FL: Natalie is an incoming sophomore attending Florida State University to study string performance. Natalie’s father is a Lieutenant with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department.

Since 2018, through the CSX Pride in Service community investment initiative, FRCF and CSX have partnered to support the specific needs of children of first responders through scholarships, financial assistance grants, bereavement assistance as well as to foster strong community engagement in key markets.



First Responders Children’s Foundation is a national foundation that provides programs and resources that address the specific needs of children of first responders. The Foundation focuses on critical areas, including scholarships, financial assistance grants; bereavement assistance, mental health counseling for children; disaster relief; and community engagement programs to foster positive relationships between first responder agencies and the communities they serve. FRCF was founded over 22 years ago in response to 9/11 when 800 children lost a first responder parent. Additional information about FRCF can be found at and on Facebook, Twitter, 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.


Bill O’Reilly

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