Thumbs up: To Dinnell Clarke's 15 guardian angels.

The firefighters, ambulance crew members and 911 dispatchers were honored recently for their combined efforts to save Clarke's life when the York City woman was severely burned last year.

After nearly 14 months and multiple surgeries, Clarke was able to personally thank and honor them Thursday at the city fire department's annual awards ceremony.

"It's because of you guys I'm still here," she said.

Clarke was cooking at the home of a friend on West Cottage Place July 6, 2013, when a grease fire started. She was carrying the pan out of the house when the grease splashed back on her, resulting in second- and third-degree burns over 40 percent of her body.

Clarke, now 25, spent 3-1/2 weeks Allentown's Lehigh Valley Hospital. She's had a number of surgeries and still needs more.

After Chief David Michaels handed out his commendations to the emergency workers, he made Clarke an honorary member of the fire department.

She said she hopes to help the department with outreach and education "to help others prevent this from happening to them, and to inspire other (burn victims)."

Thumbs up: Help is on the way for Pennsylvania's middle-income college students, although not as much as originally planned.

The Ready to Succeed Scholarship Program was part of Gov. Tom Corbett's budget proposal in February to help more college students in Pennsylvania manage the cost of education after high school.


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Corbett proposed the program begin with $25 million in state funding this year, but that was cut to $5 million in the final 2014-15 budget as a result of falling revenue.

This year, college students with a minimum 3.25 GPA and whose family income falls below $110,000 are eligible for the new state grants of up to $2,000 after they have completed 24 credits.

Because the $5 million isn't enough to offer grant aid to every eligible student, the grants will be distributed first-come, first-served based on when students filed their Free Application For Student Aid forms this year.

The new grant program "hits right at home" for families in the York area, said state Rep. Seth Grove, who expects to see the program grow in future years.