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News, Updates, and Future Developments of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.


Fifteen RCLA Town Hall Scholars Awarded Scholarships from CFSC
By Murray Devine / May 22, 2013

Fifteen high school seniors from area public schools who took part in The Ringling College Library Association (RCLA) Town Hall Lecture Series were selected to receive college scholarships from the Rosemary and Lou Oberndorf Town Hall Scholarship Fund and the Dorothy B. Templeton Scholarship Fund, in partnership with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County (CFSC) and the RCLA. The students were among the more than 120 high school seniors sponsored by CFSC and private donors, with significant organizational support from the Sarasota County School District, to attend one of the five RCLA 2013 evening lectures at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall as “RCLA Town Hall Scholars.” 

School principals selected students to attend based upon academics and community service. After the lectures, the seniors were invited to submit a 900-word essay about their experiences meeting and listening to the presentations of Walter Isaacson, Dr. Robert Gates, Dr. Benjamin Carson, Captain Mark Kelly and Tom Brokaw, from January to April 2013.

The 15 top essayists, selected from 52 applicants, were each awarded $2,000 college scholarships and were recognized at the School Board of Sarasota County meeting on Tuesday, May 21. Two students read excerpts from their essays.

Scholarships were awarded to: Ellis Adler, Sarasota High School; Alexandra Barth, Cardinal Mooney High School; Katarina Boehm, Booker High School; Sarah Brickman, Pine View School; Arjun Byju, Pine View School; Zachary Carroll, Venice High School; Cristina Chiodi, Riverview High School; Alicia Miller, Venice High School; Jacquelyn Mogensen, Sarasota High School; Brittany Molinari, Lakewood Ranch High School; Ljubica Nikolic, Booker High School; Laura OConnell, Pine View School; Sneha Pandya, Pine View School; Christopher Rollins, Sarasota High School; and Carolyn Silverman, Booker High School.

“We’re so delighted to partner with our donors Rosemary and Lou Oberndorf, Ringling College Library Association and the Sarasota County school district on this wonderful program,” said Roxie Jerde, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. “With the support and passion of our donors, we invest heavily in literacy, education and scholarships and the Town Hall Scholars program is a combination of all of those areas of focus. Not only do area students get the benefit of hearing from a wide range of influential thinkers and articulate what they learned through the essay, they also get to carry that learning into their college experience.”

“Town Hall Scholars is a very special program that has become a great connector for the Town Hall Lecture Series to the Sarasota youth,” said Stephanie Grosskreutz, chair of the 2013 RCLA Town Hall Lecture Series. “The most significant part of the program is not only learn about these leaders and visionaries and their accomplishments, but also the opportunity to meet and ask them questions is a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience. For example,  for a young person interested in a career in medicine be able to ask a prominent physician like Dr. Benjamin Carson a question or hear firsthand how you can overcome the odds can be life-changing.”

PHOTO ID: The Ringling Town Hall scholarship winners with (far left) Ringling College Library Association president Kristine Nickel and Community Foundation of Sarasota County president and CEO Roxie Jerde, (far right, front row) scholarship funders Rosemary and Lou Oberndorf, and (far right, back row) CFSC grants and scholarships coordinator Earl Young

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