2017-06-15 / Top News

SWFL Community Foundation awards 150 scholarships, totaling $800,000 in five counties

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation recently granted a record $800,000 and 150 scholarships through a competitive process to local high school students, undergraduate and graduate students from Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties.

For the first time, the foundation awarded 20 of the scholarships as multi-year awards, which will help the students each year until completion.

For the 2017 scholarship season, more than 1,800 eligible applications were received and reviewed by 82 volunteer reviewers.

“We are focused on not only helping students get to college or technical school but helping them finish as well,” said Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Thanks to the generous donors who established and continue to support scholarship funds, we are able to assist students entering college or training programs and adults returning to school.”

Students could apply for multiple scholarships through the foundation’s online portal, where volunteer readers reviewed and scored the scholarships based on the criteria set by the scholarship fund donor.

“We offer scholarships for vocational students and not just for attendance at colleges and universities,” said Ms. Owen. “As we work closer with the FutureMakers Coalition and our donors, we have shifted the way our scholarships are granted to better benefit the student’s ability to not only access schooling but to also complete it.”

According to Ms. 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/2017- scholarship-recipients/, or by visiting the website www.floridacommunity.com and clicking on “Scholarships” page.

If you are interested in becoming a scholarship reviewer, donor or to start a scholarship fund, contact the Southwest Florida Community Foundation at give@floridacommunity.com or call 239-274-5900.

The foundation's regional headquarters are located off College Parkway in Fort Myers, with satellite offices located on Sanibel Island, in LaBelle (Hendry County) and downtown Fort Myers. For more information, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com. ¦

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