Sixteen deserving college students were awarded scholarships by the Greater Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce Foundation last Thursday.
Thirteen of the students were present to receive the certificates from new Lee County School District Superintendent Nancy Graham. Chamber Foundation's Fran Myers introduced fellow attending board members Gini Smith, Ann Alsop, Linda Beasley, Rob Fowler and John Albion, before describing the Foundation's function.
"The Foundation is the right arm of the Fort Myers Beach Chamber, and all the things we do is for the children," said Myers. "We raise money for the kids."
Beach Chamber Foundation scholarship winners pose with Fran Myers (far left) and County School District Superintendent Nancy Graham (far right).
Besides the scholarships, the Beach Foundation members are gearing up for the Spirit of the Holidays fundraiser, which also involves the Beach Chamber and the Fort Myers Beach Fire Department and will be held at South Beach Grille on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Before handing out scholarship certificates, Graham acknowledged the work of the Beach community and its Chamber officials. She knows any community help goes a long way in a child's education.
"It costs a lot to go to college," she said. "Any community organization that is willing to help students get to the next level of education is to be commended, so I am grateful to you for what you are doing for these students, and I know they are to."
Here is a list of the scholarships winners and there accolades:
- Anthony Monaco sophomore at Edison State College; National Honor Society; soccer MVP; earned "Do The Right Thing Award;" hopes to have his own business in future.
- William "Dean" Simmons III senior at University of South Florida with a double major in Finance & Political Science and a minor in International Business; looking at Law School; all-star football player; tennis player; black belt.
- Jennifer Hemstreet attending Massachusetts College of Art & Design; student intern at parents' Sun Palace Vacations; graduated Suma Cum Laude; National Honor Society; Robert Rauschenberg award.
- Rachel Whitehead enrolled at Florida Southern College; majoring in Athletic Training; aspires to work as a trainer for a professional sports team; "Do the Right Thing" Award; loves working with children; volunteer at Church.
- Jordan Wallace enrolled at the University of Florida; degree towards Medical field; "Do the Right Thing" award twice; runner-up and Miss Congeniality at 2013 Shrimp Festival; National Honor Society; many MVP and athletic awards.
- Stanley Stouder finishing freshman year with 3.74 GPA; seeking Bachelor's degree in Political Science with a minor in Leadership; varsity football player; named varsity male of the year in 2011; won coaches award for leadership; spirit/hustle award; involved in student government, student leadership; student ambassador and speaker.
- Sarah Swanbeck entering her sophomore year at George Washington University; majoring in Political Science and minor in Criminal Justice; graduated top of her class at Fort Myers High and top 10 in County; aspires to work for congressman or a lobbying firm to help create government policy.
- Robert Swanbeck undergraduate at Florida State University; hopes to earn Master's Degree in Economics with a minor in Business; achieved ACC Academic Honor Roll; owns Real Estate license; swims and dives at college; National Honor Society; goal: become a Real Estate investor and start own investment company.
- Bonnie Rich enrolling at the University of South Florida; seeks Hospitality Management degree; went to Sanibel Gifted Program grad school; graduated Fort Myers High with a dual enrollment at Edison State College; goal: start her own restaurant.
- Collette Kiesel pursuing Registered Nurse career from FGCU; seeks to work at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital; already achieved Certified Nursing Assistant and Phlebotomist Certification; planning project to end sex slavery; devoted much time to McGregor Baptist Church and going on missions to foreign lands.
- Bailey Mullarkey enrolling for degree in Fashion Merchandising from the Miami International University of Art & Design; Miss Photogenic at 2013 Shrimp Festival; National Honor Society; certified from Department of Children and Families as Pre-School teacher; high school scholar; many volunteer hours posted.
- David Albion senior at Lake Forest College; will graduate next year with Communications major and Music minor; avid swimmer for Lake Forest; goal: work in radio or TV; captain and lettered on high school Swim team; won MVP; citizenship award; logged volunteer hours.
- Hannah Albion - enrolled at Bowling Green State College; will study Law & Psychology; captain of her swim team; went to the state championships; Honor Roll student; logged volunteer hours.
- Samantha Neumaier - sophomore with degree in Production Design for Films, Theater, and Publications; working her way through Edison State College; won a scholarship for artwork at Edison; loged volunteer hours.
- Eddie Collins - seeks career in Biology either in the Health field or a R.N.; graduated with honors and played football and baseball; completed Medical Academy where he became CPR certified; received a football scholarship to Seton Hall University; logged volunteer hours.
- Ryan Jenkins - senior at University of Florida; studying Finance with a minor in Real Estate; would love to be involved with Real Estate.