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Testimonials


Shawn and Alvaro have participated in our Campus Safety Week the past several years. We have been so impressed with them, we plan to make "After the Fire" a mandatory part of first year orientation. In addition to a story of hope and inspiration; "After the Fire" provides students and college community members with a tragic yet hopeful message: some crises are in fact preventable. Through vivid personal accounts, the viewer begins to understand the potential consequences of seemingly sophomoric, harmless actions. 'After the Fire' is a highly accessible educational tool that can reach many students in a meaningful, effective way.Quotes

Gretchen Perry,

Dean of Campus Life, Bard College



Powerful! The "After the Fire" documentary is an unforgettable and inspiring message. Our students were engaged beyond belief. Many purchased the book because the power of the message . Alvaro and Shawn?s interaction with our students was a life changing experience. Alvaro and Shawn are very down to earth individuals with a mission that will greatly impact this generation. It would be a disservice if I did not encourage you to have this tour come to your area. We were able to connect with other institutions in our state to share in this experience. "After the Fire" will bring light to the effects of poor decision making and the impact of perseverance. I recommend this experience to all residence life departments, health care workers, local fire departments, spiritual leaders, faculty, student life, high school students, as a freshman program requirement, and any one that needs hope.Quotes

Rochelle Smith, Assistant Director Housing and Residence Life

Jacksonville State University



Shawn and Alvaro have a powerful, and important, story to tell. It's difficult to do a "safety" program in a way that truly engages students, but I know our students were on the edge of their seats the whole evening. The documentary chronicles their story in a very real and meaningful way. Our students walked away with a better understanding of the reality of fires. Many students asked questions during the program and then stayed afterwards to speak with Shawn and Alvaro. It is clear that our students were impacted by this program. In addition, Shawn and Alvaro were very easy to book. They made the entire process simple and low key. I appreciate their humility. We were especially impressed when they joined our staff for lunch after the program. It was fun to have them in our office. They are friendly, personable, and kind. I highly recommend this program!Quotes

Mitch Isaacs

Associate Director of Student Life, Ball State University



Shawn and Alvaro graciously donated their time to our Health and Wellness fair where they interacted with over 200 students, sharing their experiences and insight. They were approachable, and the students responded immediately. Shawn and Alvaro also participated in 2 mini assemblies where they modified their personal presentation to meet our tight schedule in needs. The message about personal and public safety, considering rules and individual actions, and overcoming odds was clear and focused. A pin drop could be heard in that auditorium. Students who participated took the message personally as many will be moving on to college in the fall. They indicated to me that Shawn and Alvaro?s personal story "opened their eyes," and some went further to indicate that they will "think twice before neglecting simple rules that are in place for the well-being of others." I feel the message is one that any teenager should hear.Quotes

Mike Goffredo

Teacher at Sterling High School, Somerdale, NJ



You may be surprised to read that After the Fire is about you. Yes, After the Fire touches on many of the lives affected by the Seton Hall dormitory fire. That's true. And yes, it focuses primarily on Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos as they experience the horror of that night and recover through the many adversities it left in its wake for them. Al and Shawn though, leave their families to come to your lecture hall, classroom or group and use the story to talk with you, about you. These men face challenges which came into their lives because of the foolish, impulsive act of others. Shawn and Al were doing everything right. They remembered the sacrifices their loved ones made so they could be at Seton Hall, and they took their academic career seriously. Suddenly, in the dark of a cold January night, through no fault of theirs, a horrific fire consumed the lives they had known.Quotes

Andrew Timms

Member of C.I.R.P.P.



Even after this, even after the comas to relieve them of the indescribable pain, the multiple surgeries, the endless physical therapy during which every movement was a reminder of what they had lost, Al and Shawn remember that what happened to them has happened to you in some smaller or lesser way. They foresee that it may not have happened yet and while they wish you well, they want you to be prepared. Shawn and Al come to talk to you about how you may cope, how you may heal when you are wounded. They speak of what you may do to avoid what beset them. Al and Shawn come to your community to let you and your audience know that healing is possible, even when it seems impossible. And they share their message in a way you will remember. When overwhelming circumstances befall you, you'll be stronger because you have heard from two men who stand before you to say, "If we can overcome this, you can make it through your own trial by fire."Quotes

Andrew Timms (continuation)

Member of C.I.R.P.P



Shawn and Alvaro have visited Saginaw Valley State University the past two years. They bring a powerful, inspirational, and courageous story. Our students the past two years were highly engaged in the presentation with thought provoking questions and sharing similar stories of their own. The presentation brought out the best in our students - compassion, understanding, and empathy - complimented with a sense of helping my fellow student when needed. Shawn and Alvaro are two 'down to earth' guys that are well respected by Saginaw Valley State University.Quotes

Greg Behe, Associate Director Residential Life

Saginaw Valley State University



George Mason University brought Shawn and Alvaro to campus to present to students on the importance of fire safety in residence halls. This was done in conjunction with South Lake High School in Reston, Virginia as part of their Distributive Educational Clubs of America (DECA) project titled "Contain the Flame." Shawn and Alvaro's story is powerful and engaging for participants. Shawn and Alvaro present in a way that makes fire safety discussion realistic and educational. Since their program, I have had several students who attended say how impactful this program was for them and share Shawn and Alvaro's message with their peers. Sharing Shawn and Alvaro's message from peer to peer is the best form of congratulations and job well done any presenter can hope for.Quotes

Zachary Pope, Assistant Director,

UL Safety and Emergency Management, George Mason University



Two of the most influential people I have ever met in my life. Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos allowed me to sit back and really reflect on my life. When these two shared their story the passion, love, and fighter in both of them filled the entire room and left everyone in a state of gratitude. I am forever grateful to have been able to not only have met them but also hear their story, and how they have overcome adversity.Quotes

Brandi Bennett

Respiratory Therapy Major, Ball State University



This story is of survival, perseverance, inspiration, hope, courage and friendship. Coupled with the personal appearances from Alvaro and Shawn, the audience at our Campus Fire Forum was left speechless. This is a truly powerful way for a life safety educator to reach anyone - especially students. The Center for Campus Fire Safety highly recommends Alvaro and Shawn as motivational speakers, and the Movie is a must have for any fire safety educator.Quotes

Michael J. Swain, VP of The Center of Campus Fire Safety

Campus Fire Prevention Officer at the University of Massachusett



The Center was pleased to have both Alvaro and Shawn as Keynote speakers during our Campus Fire Forum 2012 in San Antonio, and we hope to have them again in 2013 for our Saint Louis Campus Fire Safety Forum. It's good to see so many universities and towns helping to spread this message.Quotes

Janet Maupin, Treasurer of The Center for Campus Fire Safety

Deputy Fire Marshal for the Champaign, Illinois, Fire Department



Amazingly inspiring! This presentation showed me what true perseverance and positive attitude can do for recovering from such a tragedy. Because of this presentation, I value my friends and family even more and offer my support more frequently. As a resident assistant, I hope to explain to residents of Rowan University the importance of fire safety and respect for public property. Overall this presentation, made me want to be a better person with loving compassion.Quotes

Peter Schwalbenberg

RA @ Rowan University



Amazingly inspiring! This presentation showed me what true perseverance and positive attitude can do for recovering from such a tragedy. Because of this presentation, I value my friends and family even more and offer my support more frequently. As a resident assistant, I hope to explain to residents of Rowan University the importance of fire safety and respect for public property. Overall this presentation, made me want to be a better person with loving compassion.Quotes

Peter Schwalbenberg

RA @ Rowan University



The "After the Fire" documentary was really an eye opener for me. This is my first time hearing about the Seton Hall Fire, and how much of an impact it has left on the campus. The documentary was very emotional and hard to watch due to the damages and pain the fire caused. I use to think a fire would never happen to me, but this made me realize it could happen to anyone. It has made me more caution and aware of my family, friends and residents. Also, leading me to share the story with my residents and how important it is to "EXIT THE BUILDING" during a fire drill. My favorite part throughout the documentary was how much everyone supported Shawn and Alvaro through thick and thin. The bonds that were built among the nurses, doctors, and Shawn and Alvaro mother's as well. I commend Shawn and Alvaro for bring awareness to students about the Seton Hall Fire, and would recommend everyone to watch the documentary and read the book as well. Thank You Shawn and Alvaro,Quotes

Katrina McCullough

RA @ Rowan University



Keep up the mission to educate not only students, but faculty and staff for the next generation to learn and embrace health and safety!Quotes

Nicholas Koridis,

Code Enforcement/Special Projects at Stony Brook University



"After the Fire" is a compelling and heartwarming documentary that proves hope can spring from the depth of tragedy. Shawn Simons and Alvaro Llanos are a true testament to the strength of the human spirit. Not only did they teach our students about the importance of fire safety, they also taught them the value of lasting friendship.Quotes

Dr. Tammi Dahle

Dean of Students University of Montevallo



During the "After the Fire" documentary and presentation, the audience was captivated by Shawn and Alvaro's testimony. They opened their hearts through their powerful message of triumph over tragedy, while demonstrating courage and resilience. Yes, fire safety and preparedness is an integral part of the presentation; however, their inspirational message transcends typical "how-to" dialogue and undoubtedly touches the hearts of everyone who hears it. "After the Fire" attendees not only walked away with a better understanding of the importance of fire safety education, but also more significantly, a renewed sense of how the human spirit can overcome life's most difficult struggles.Quotes

Sally Dollar

Assistant Director of HRL at University of Montevallo



I enjoyed the "After the Fire" program because it was great to hear a life testimony from someone who has survived a fire. It made me think twice about fire safety and was an inspirational story to hear about.Quotes

Jill Sharp

student at University of Montevallo



The "After the Fire" documentary is both educational and powerful. The presentation led by Shawn and Alvaro is informative, but even more inspiring. Watching the documentary about this tragic fire at Seton Hall University and then to see these two courageous men take the stage was simply moving. I would strongly encourage all colleges to show the "After the Fire" documentary, but also to allow Shawn and Alvaro to share their very important story and powerful message.Quotes

John Denson

Director of Housing and Residence Life, University of Montevallo



This film has more power and impact than any fire safety lecture could ever deliver. When I presented the film to over 700 students here at Oregon State University you could hear a pin drop in the auditorium. They were captivated from beginning to end. A must see for every college resident of your campus and community.Quotes

Jim Patton

Fire Prevention Officer, Corvallis Oregon Fire Department/Oregon



This movie should be shown to all SHU students. It really opened my eyes. I learned how strength is found in the most desperate situations, and how bonds of family and friendship can help in the worst situations. I think they should show it again on campus.Quotes

T.H., student Seton Hall University, NJ



Your presentation, and story had such an impact on me, and how I will handle my career going forward, that I showed your movie to all my probationary Firefighters at my Sunday morning training at my Fire Department. I want others in my profession to know what happens after the work is done, what goes on after we pack up and leave from a fire, I thank you so much for sharing all that you did with me and our Campus.Quotes

Jeremy D. Giammatteo

Fire Marshal, Farmingdale State College



I was touched very much so, by both you and Al and the horrible tragedy that happened on that cold January 19th night back in 2000. I certainly encourage people to purchase the DVD, so we could continue to educate as many students as possible about the dangers that â?? After the Fire â?? exposes. I hope we are able to invite you back Shawn. As I said the other night, both you and Al are two incredibly courageous young men. Your story has both touched millions of people and changed the laws of Fire Safety for millions more. Please let me say Shawn that many people walk into our lives, certainly not everybody leaves a footprint on your heart. Both you and Al did. I will always remember our meeting and the circumstances that brought us together. If I am unlucky, and we never meet again, I wish you and Al the best that Life has to offer. You have earned it and I hope you donâ??t forget us. God Bless!Quotes

John O'Brien

Director of Security at Le Moyne College



I was present when you came to give the presentation at Ramapo College. I enjoyed it so much because I believe one can learn so much from it. Not only about fire safety but also about life itself. You guys went through so much and it proves that everyone should not take life for granted. I wish all freshman entering college can watch the documentary just to understand how serious fire alarms and safety can be. The presentation was very helpful because it allowed people to understand that real things like this really do happen and it doesn't just happen in movies. I enjoyed it so much that I bought the book so I can read it and I finished the book in 2 days. LOL! The book is very, very inspirational. I'm glad you guys overcame the difficulties.Quotes

Tahmina Ahmed

RA at Ramapo College



Fires are a real danger; they really can and do happen. They can happen to anyone. When safety is tossed aside, everyone becomes at risk, and sad, unfair losses are suffered. Keeping this firmly in mind, we all need to commit to being careful - never, ever risking safety in a joke or prank, and do our best to protect the futures of everyone at our university.Quotes

Sarah Kisly

Student at Millikin University



Thank you so much for your inspiring presentation! Everyone is still talking about it, in fact, I have had people ask me to borrow the video. Personally, I wanted to thank you for your courage, perseverance and inspiration!Please know that you have left an impact on Molloy College!Quotes

Bill Hempstead

Fire Safety Officer at Molloy College


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