The four members of the Anna Maria Island Scholarship Committee – Bev Lesnick, Wendy Webb, Mike Southwick and Amy Tobin – distributed scholarships to four students at a ceremony on Thursday, April 19 at the Chamber.
The four scholars were chosen from a record number of applicants, according to Chamber President Terri Kinder.
This has been the highest application response the program has seen. Applicants came from a wide variety of Manatee County schools including St. Stephens, Manatee, Bayshore, Lakewood Ranch, Southeast, Palmetto, Manatee School for the Arts, Bradenton Christian and State College of Florida.
The recipients are:
- Emma Johnson, a Manatee High School senior, who took first place in the Manatee Science Fair. Johnson has volunteered her time as president of the Science National Honor Society, a member of the Key Club, marching band, private tutor and after-care teacher. Her GPA of 4.0 unweighted and 4.7155 weighted makes her the number one ranked senior in her class. She plans to attend Bates College in Lewiston, Maine for a degree in Biology.
- Ava Clinton, a senior at Manatee School for the Arts has balanced leadership in clubs, volunteer work or working 25 to 30 hours a week while she maintained her class ranking as first in her senior class. Coming from a single parent home she learned to be creative, such as in competing in the “Recycled Dreams Fashion Competition.” She constructed a ball gown out of Walmart shopping bags and cereal boxes to win it. Ava has overcome many challenges to become successful in college already through the Early Admissions program. She will study Biology and Environmental Science at the University of Florida.
- Gabriela Guardiola will be the first in her family to pursue a post-secondary education. As a student at Bayshore High School, she was involved in the AVID (Achievement Via Individual Determination) college prep program. While maintaining herself in the top one percent of her class of 350 Gabriela also will attain her A.A. degree at the same time, she graduates with her high school diploma. She aspires to become a forensic psychologist to help rehabilitate mentally ill people in the community, those who have harmed others and themselves. To achieve this goal Gabriela wishes to enroll at Florida Gulf Coast University.
- Bayshore High School senior Orbilia Matiano has shown the motivation to achieve her scholastic goals, evidenced by the AVID 4.0 GPA award while actively involved in the Key Club, school newspaper, JROTC and taking leadership roles. Her desire is to obtain her Associate’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography at State College of Florida. This scholarship is a new one from the Chamber for students who want to study, graduate and work in Manatee County. It is called Stay, Learn and Live.