I cannot believe we are approaching the 10 year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, which will forever be a vivid memory in my mind. I was working in DC, 2 blocks from the White House. When I entered the reception area of my law firm, several people were gathered in the main conference room watching t.v. I vaguely heard someone mention a plane accident involving one of the Twin Towers as I continued towards my office. While reviewing phone messages and logging into my computer, I heard the news that a second plane had crashed into the other Twin Tower. Eventually, we got word that the White House might be the next target, and all the local garages went into shut down mode. It became impossible to make any phone calls, and the streets were in absolute gridlock. I went to the roof to get a better view, and the snippers in the next building told me to stay back inside. I never felt so helpless in my life.

Eventually, I was able to meet up with my husband, and together we walked home almost in absolutely silence. That evening, we were glued to the t.v. watching the same images in complete disbelief. I wondered if I might know anyone that had not survived, and as soon as they allowed people to visit Ground Zero, I made the journey to see the site with my own eyes. It was horrific– pictures of so many people posted on walls or along the church fences, notes from loved ones asking for any information as to missing person. I started to shake and found myself in tears, simply overwhelmed by the loss of so many lives.

It was not until a few months later that I learned that one of my classmates from Phillips Academy Andover had died in the attacks: Todd Isaac. We were both originally from New York City, and we were among a few fortunate ones who won scholarships to attend this elite boarding school that took us out of the “hood” and gave us the best of every possible opportunity an academy of that caliber could offer a young aspiring mind. We both made a ton of friends at Andover and loved sports. Todd went on to attend Holy Cross, where he was a member of the Crusaders’ storied basketball team, and then at a very young age achieved the position of partner at Cantor Fitzgerald until his life was tragically cut short. Somehow, the plane heading to DC was diverted and my life was spared.

In honor of Todd’s memory, several of my classmates have created a scholarship in his name, in order to provide other talented young minds with the opportunities that we were so fortunate to have based on the generosity of others. This is a great testament to Todd’s legacy, and I encourage anyone that wants to contribute to this fund to contact Jenn Schraut in Andover’s Annual Giving office at jschraut@andover.edu.