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Family of young 9/11 victim award $260,000 in scholarships

STAR STUDENT: Asia Cottom had often talked about going to college (Image: Asia SiVon Cottom Memorial Scholarship Fund)

THE FAMILY of an 11-year-old September 11 victim have awarded $250,000 worth of scholarships in her honour.

Asia Cottom’s parents, Clifton and Michelle, started a fund as a tribute to their daughter and to give other children access to the opportunities she will sadly never be able to have.

Young Asia was on board the flight that crashed into the Pentagon on September 11 2001, 17 years ago today.

The star student, a winner of a National Geographic essay competition, was on her way to California when the American Airlines plane she was flying on was hijacked.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, her parents received an influx of support from around the world, the majority of which came in the form of monetary donations, often in values that bore significance to Asia’s age and the date of the terrorist attack.

Her parents, appreciative of the donations but somewhat overwhelmed by them, wanted to use the money to help others so the set up a fund in their daughter’s name – The Asia SiVon Cottom Memorial Scholarship Fund.

So far the organisation has awarded more than 96 scholarships, totalling $260,000. The first scholarship recipient was Asia’s reading tutor.

The money is awarded to students who are pursuing science, technology, engineering and maths because Asia was interested in STEM subjects. Her mother said she had always talked about wanting to go to college.

“I wanted to turn tragedy into triumph and I think that that’s what we’ve done in telling Asia’s story because Asia lives on, she’ll live on forever,” Michelle said in a Heart Threads documentary.

She added: “For me to watch students grow was my way of being able to send Asia to college. Over and over and over again.

“I think she’d be stoked. To have people going to school because of her...I think she’s up there dancing on the clouds myself.”

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