In the early morning hours of January 19, 2000, the lives of thousands or maybe even millions were changed as a result of a great tragedy. On the campus of Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, while most of the more than 600 freshman slept, an arson fire was started in the third floor lounge of the six-story freshmen residence hall, Boland Hall. As the fire alarms wailed, most students thought it was just another false fire alarm, like the 30 or more false alarms that sounded the semester before. No one had any idea that there was a real fire, let alone where the fire was or how to get out of harm's way.
Alvaro and Shawn talk more about their ordeal of being college burn victims nationally at many colleges across the country. They also speak at high schools, as well as fire safety training or firefighting seminars and conferences. Their motive is to be advocates for fire safety and prevention so that no other students will have to endure the pain that they suffered. Also, they strive to be the voice of many burn victims across the country who may feel "trapped in their new skin."
Their story, which will be shared with the JSU community in a free program on Monday, August 26 at 7 p.m. in the Leone Cole Auditorium, is one of survival, perseverance, inspiration, hope, courage and friendship. They inspire to motivate students and professionals that life will give you many obstacles. It's how you overcome those obstacles by drawing strength, knowledge and motivation from those around you.
With these tools in life's endeavors they prove that there is life "After the Fire."