Recognizing Dr. Irving Fradkinby Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III
Posted on 2013-02-25
KENNEDY asked and was given permission to address the House for
1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Dr. Irving
Fradkin of Fall River, Massachusetts, a finalist for the national
``Citizen Service Before Self'' award.
The son of Russian immigrants, Dr. Fradkin's story of service began in the late 1950s. As an optometrist opening his new practice in a struggling former mill city, he was immediately struck by how few of his young patients had plans to go to college. When he asked why, the response was always a simple answer: My parents can't afford it.
At the time, the average cost of tuition was a couple hundred dollars a year. Dr. Fradkin did the math. He figured that if each of Fall River's 30,000 [[Page H609]] households gave a single dollar, they could send every single graduating senior in the city to college. And so Dollars for Scholars was born.
With the deep faith and compassion of a tight-knit community, Dr. Fradkin began collecting as little as $1 from his neighbors and friends to provide scholarships to the local students. Over four decades later, what began as a card table operation in a determined Massachusetts town became Scholarship America, an organization that has awarded nearly $3 billion in scholarships across 38 States.
At 92 years old, Dr. Fradkin continues to fight for that city that he loves and the students that have made his life's work. Tonight, I congratulate him and his wife, Charlotte, on a recognition deeply deserved.