The Todd Beamer Foundation, more recently renamed Heroic Choices, originally intended to reach out to children who lost parents or other family members in the attacks on September 11, 2001. The foundation expanded its mission to include children ages 8 to 12 who have experienced trauma or overcome adversity, most notably working with victims from Hurricane Katrina.
Heroic Choices offers a Resiliency Building Program that starts as a weekend retreat for children and their current caregivers or mentors. The children complete self-esteem and resiliency building activities, and can establish mentoring relationships. Caregivers and mentors receive training to be able to effectively help the children cope. In addition to the Resiliency Building Program, the Asset Development Program, another retreat, is designed to nurture the mentoring relationship and assess the child's progress. A training curriculum is available for both caregivers and children to further the construction of self-esteem and resiliency.
The foundation was established in memory of Todd Beamer, a passenger of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed as the result of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Beamer was a part of the group of passengers who tried to overthrow the hijackers. This group was ultimately responsible for throwing the hijackers off course and causing them to crash in an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Beamer is most remembered for his final words, "Let's roll," which were caught on the airplane's black box recorder before the group of passengers charged the hijackers.