COPPERAS COVE, Texas — A local family is paying for three people to go to the Killeen Fire Academy in honor of their fallen firefighter son.
Jose Negrete was a loving, kind, community-first guy.
The Copperas Cove firefighter was also a brother and a son, and passed away in July 2020 after battling cancer and a serious infection from it.
Keeping his legacy alive, Jose Negrete's mom, Maria Negrete and the rest of the family created Negrete Firefighter Foundation INC, a nonprofit that is assisting young adults pursue their dreams of becoming firefighters.
"We tend to forget the sacrifices that someone did for us so I wanted to honor him," Maria Negrete said. "I needed a way to deal with my grief. He was my baby, he was my son, so I wanted some kind of legacy to go in his name."
With community donations, the foundation is paying for three people to attend Killeen Fire Academy -- the place where it all started for Jose.
"I want something positive, I want the Negrete Firefighter Foundation to say something about our community," She explained. "To say, even though we lost one of our own -- we're still going to be putting future firefighters in his name, and helping them financially."
The foundation is not looking for an essay or short questionnaire as an application. They want those interest to send a video so that they can see the real you and your heart.
"We want to see that raw emotion of why you want to be a firefighter," said Maria Negrete.
They've got the funds, they're just looking for those with the heart just like Jose.
Looking to apply? Here's what you need to know:
The three recipients of the Negrete Firefighter Foundation will be attending Fire Academy in Killeen, Texas.
No age requirement, except for the requirements set by the Fire Academy.
Economic status will be considered, if the applicant is in need of support - but not a must.
The applicant will have to reside within a 75 mile radius from Copperas Cove, Texas, unless an exception has been made by the foundation.
Applicants are expected to volunteer at the next Negrete Firefighter Foundation event.
You must submit a video explaining why you want to become a firefighter. You can send that to this email: Negretefirefighterfoundation@gmail.com.
The foundation will receive videos until Oct. 18, 2021, so a selection can be made. Maria Negrete said those selected will be notified Oct. 19.
The fire academy classes will start on Jan. 3, 2022.
Applicants will be required to do a physical, background check, and drug and alcohol test before being considered for the scholarship.
More detail information will be provided once selected.