Milestones were reached on May 15th when $104,100 was awarded to 47 students to help them attend college and have their dreams and goals become a reality. They are an impressive group with varying goals and backgrounds. This year’s recipients include the following students.
Jessica R. Johnson of Englewood was awarded a $3,000 scholarship. Jessica is a sophomore at University of South Florida in Tampa where she is pursuing a major in nursing. Her goals include obtaining a master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner. Her family has been struggling for the past four years since her father was diagnosed with a serious cardiac disorder and has endured several procedures. Her mother is employed in Florida’s Workers’ Compensation system. While attending college, Jessica works part time at Publix Pharmacy as a Certified Pharmacy Technician. She is a member of Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship.
Christopher C. Clarke of Fort Myers was awarded the Michael Reed Scholarship award for $4,000. Christopher, an Eagle Scout and senior at Bishop Verot High School, will be attending Flagler College where he plans to enter the Pre-Law Program. Christopher’s father died in 2007 at age 59 after being injured in an auto accident while at work 10 years earlier. Family life changed in an instant for the entire family. With the support of his mother, friends and school community, Christopher has succeeded in high school where he has been an active volunteer in such areas as hurricane relief in New Orleans, Mississippi and Florida; Yearbook Sports Editor; videographer for the varsity football team (lettering in football); member of the Academic Competitive Team; Freshman Retreat Leader; Edison Festival, and Calusa Nature Center.
Victor S. DeRosa of Jacksonville was awarded the Philip Feldman Scholarship Award for $4,000. Victor is a student at Paxon School for Advanced Studies. He plans to attend University of Central Florida. His high school activities included National Honors Society Treasurer; Spanish Club, Science National Honors Society and Junior Varsity Football. Since his mother’s death from cancer in 2007, Victor has lived with his sister who works in Florida’s Workers’ Compensation system. They moved from Broward County to Jacksonville before he began 11th grade. His volunteer activities include serving at an elementary school summer camp for at-risk youth, camp counselor, a marine biology program to clean and research South Florida Beaches and the Relay for Life to benefit the American Cancer Society.
A challenge now presents itself for FRIENDS in order to raise sufficient sums to allow those selected to be able to finish their education and also to provide aid to new applicants. This is not an easy task in our present economy, but I truly believe that if we all continue our work on behalf of the kids that we can achieve this goal. Many fund-raising events are now being set. The next board meeting is set for August 16th, which coincides with the Florida Workers’ Compensation Institute Annual Conference in Orlando. More details will be posted next month, but I’d like all board members to please mark your calendars for Monday morning starting at 8 a.m. I also request that you bring a new person to this meeting. It will be greatly appreciated.
We’ve relocated our headquarters to 9100 South Dadeland Blvd., Suite 1010, Miami, FL 33156. We appreciate the donated space that was provided by Walton Lantaff Schroeder & Carson and is now provided by Levine, Busch & Schnepper.
The Scholarship Fund, in order to reach our goals and continue to grow, has hired Sharon McMorris as its first Executive Director. It has been easy and great to work with her she has already contributed in a meaningful way. Sharon is a long time advocate for education, health and human service needs within South Florida’s nonprofit sector. Throughout her career she has been involved with such organizations as Nonprofit Management and Fund Development (her consulting firm), Nova Southeastern University’s Nonprofit Management Institute, Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Planned Parenthood, Senior Volunteer Services and South Florida Museum of Natural History. You will be able to meet Sharon at one of the upcoming local chapter meetings and/or the Orlando Conference.
Thanks for your continued support.
Richard Sadow, President
Friends of 440 Scholarship Fund, Inc.