23 May Southwest Florida Community Foundation awards $739,676 in scholarships
128 scholarships awarded through 102 scholarships funds for high school seniors and undergraduate and graduate students
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation recently granted $739,676 and 128 scholarships through a competitive process to local high school students and undergraduate and graduate students from Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties. For the third year, the Foundation awarded 12 of the scholarships as multi-year awards which will help the students each year until completion.
For the 2019 scholarship season, 468 eligible students applied and their applications were reviewed by 130 volunteer reviewers.
“Once again, we really focused on making our scholarship application and review process as accessible as possible,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Outreach was key to ensure we received a pool of applicants from all over Southwest Florida. Through interactive presentations, we were able to help students submit a scholarship application successfully as well as to gain a better understanding of the FAFSA form.”
The Foundation’s process allows each applicant to submit one application and apply it to several scholarship funds they were eligible for. This enables the students to get the most out of the application process and cut down on time spent on the application, so that they can focus more on completing the school year.
The Foundation also had more volunteer reviewers this year, 130, which allowed each applicant to receive three scores from three different reviewers.
“We use our technological platform and at least three reviewers of the applications to remove any bias that may prevent an applicant from receiving a scholarship,” Owen Said. “Scholarship application reviewers enjoy being able to stay connected with the youth of our community, by reading their stories and about their efforts to give back.”
According to Owen, examples of some of the more unique scholarships not as highly sought after included scholarships for students with disabilities, student athletes, students pursuing a specific field of study such as teaching deaf or blind individuals, specific church membership or community service hours in a particular facility such as a veterans hospital, adult students going back to school, students from particular schools or communities, and students pursuing a graduate or professional degree.
Details of the scholarships and a list of recipients can be found on the Foundation’s website at https://floridacommunity.com/2019-scholarship-recipients/ or by visiting the website www.floridacommunity.com and clicking on “Scholarships” page.
Four new scholarships awarded this year: Linda L. Mann Scholarship Fund for Music Majors, Tommy Bohanon Foundation Scholarship Fund, Ricky Pigott Memorial Scholarship Fund, Jerome L. King Scholarship Fund for Nursing
If you are interested in becoming a scholarship reviewer next year or starting a scholarship fund, contact the Southwest Florida Community Foundation at [email protected] or call 239-274-5900.
About the Southwest Florida Community Foundation
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Foundation partners with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, the Foundation invested $6.8 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of more than $126 million, it has provided $78.2 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. The Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s regional headquarters are now located in the historic ACL Train Depot at Collaboratory in downtown Fort Myers, with a satellite office located in LaBelle (Hendry County). For more information, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com