Shirley Brooks-Jones

Shirley Brooks-JonesBrooks-Jones was a passenger from Columbus Ohio who returns every year to Newfoundland and who co-ordinates a scholarship for high school students at Lewisporte Collegiate. People throughout the United States, Canada, and other countries, have contributed over $1 million to the fund. Over the last ten years, 134 scholarships have been awarded.

Her thoughts on being diverted to Gander during 9/11:

"It was absolutely the most amazingly beautiful thing that ever happened. Not only did they feed us and give us a place to stay, but they gave us love and, you know, they honoured our dignity. They watched us, you know, to make sure that everything would be okay that we weren't getting into trouble, emotionally or anything. But they did all those things with such kindness and such gentleness that none of us had ever experienced anything quite like that."

After 9/11:

"We knew we had to do something, but you know, it was the most difficult thing to decide what we could do without offending the dignity of these marvellous people. And so we came up with the idea ... of setting up a schloarship fund that would benefit students graduating from Lewisporte Collegiate."

On handing out scholarships to Lewisporte students:

"I always get so emotional that I almost lose it, I really do. Just seeing the faces of the students as their names are announced. Putting a name to the face and thinking about what the future is going to be for those young people, and, you know, just hoping [for] the best. It's just the most exhilarating experience that I have. It just is. It's just wonderful."

You can listen to Shirley Brooks-Jones's interview:

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