As Andrew Schwartz accepted his certification as a paramedic on graduation day, he was doing so in honor of his father, an EMT who died in the World Trade Center attack.

“He always wanted to become a paramedic, and he obviously didn't have the chance to,” Andrew said.

But Andrew did, thanks, in part, to the Citizens' Scholarship Foundation of America and private fundraisers like Josselyne Herman-Saccio, who wanted to make sure Andrew and hundreds of other students who lost family members in the attack could get the education they needed.

“It helped a lot,” said Patti Schwartz, Andrew’s mother. “With my husband gone, a big chunk of the income of the house was gone. I told them that their education would have to continue.”

CSFA launched a campaign called Families of Freedom barely a week after the September 11 attacks. When Josselyne stepped in to help the foundation, it was a perfect match.

“Last year my daughter started selling bead sticks, Q-tips with beads on them, right after September 11,” said Josselyne. “She raised about $$300 in two and a half hours. I said if she can raise that kind of money, we can do something.”

Josselyne produced a fundraising gala last November, raising $$250,000. But she felt she had to do more.

“It’s now the children of the business owners and the workers who lost their livelihoods,” she said. “They didn’t lose their lives, but they've lost their sources of income, so they're unable to send their kids to college.”

So Josselyne joined forces with CSFA again and AXA, a financial services company, and went to work to produce Families of Freedom 2. In less than four months, she had more than 200 volunteers raising funds for scholarships for Lower Manhattan business owners and their children.

“Seeing what was done in such a short amount of time and the amount of people and that came together ö and that she was the organizer ö it is quite incredible,” said Bonnie Rothman, one of the volunteers. “I really have a lot of respect for her.”

Josselyne and her team folded hundreds of invitations and stuffed thousands of envelopes. She also led dozens of meetings, all while holding down her full-time job and, of course, being a mom.

“When I look at Josselyne,” said event coordinator Maris Segal, “it's obviously inspirational. We all have busy lives, we have a lot of things going on, but to continue to make a commitment to the people impacted by 9/11 is really critical.”

The event drew 2,000 people to City Center on November 20. With AXA donating $$3 million, the gala raised a total of $$6 million. And Josselyne isn't stopping.

“I think we should do this every year,” she said. “Since the scholarship foundation has been around for 45 years, let’s raise money for the next 45 years.”

So for helping families get an education despite hardship, Josselyne Herman-Saccio is NY1’s New Yorker of the Week.

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