SARASOTA, FL – The Safe Children Coalition’s Achievers program recently honored graduates and awarded $31,800 in college scholarships to “Class of 2023” high school graduates as well as returning college students who were engaged with the program as teens and have continued their involvement through Zoom career cluster sessions and community service during the holidays.
A total of 38 scholarships – 12 first-year college and 26 continuing college – were awarded. The breakfast program took place at Michael’s On East.
Contributing to this year’s program and scholarship funding were: the Harry Sudakoff Foundation, Bay First National Bank, the A. Jean Battie Scholarship, Marilyn & James Heskett Charitable Foundation, Tracy Ross Memorial Scholarship, and others.
Addressing the guests during the event were Kathleen Cowan, SCC’s VP of Child Welfare, and Chief Rex Troche of the Sarasota Police Department as well as several program alumni, who spoke eloquently about their Achievers experience and how it helped them to succeed in college. They encouraged students to take full advantage of their Achievers contacts and experiences as well as to connect with on-campus resources once they are in college.
As she has done for many years, Achievers program manager Jone Williams acknowledged students who have achieved certain levels of program participation and community service as well as “PUSHY Parents” who encouraged their children to participate.
The Achievers program empowers at-risk, minority and other disadvantaged students to set and achieve goals in both their educational and personal lives, encouraging continuous growth in the areas of personal development, college preparation, community service and leadership, cultural enrichment, and career options. The program ultimately increases student participation in school programs, decreases school absenteeism and dropout rates, and prevents delinquent behavior.
The program, which has served thousands of students in the community for over 30 years, is open to all middle and high school students in Sarasota County. Approximately 113 students participated in the Achievers program during the 2022-2023 school year. Career cluster programming this past year featured Achiever alumni as well as professionals from the community and surrounding areas currently serving in the fields of health/medical, engineering, journalism, mass communications, law enforcement and the legal field.
For more about Safe Children Coalition, visit sccfl.org.
About Safe Children Coalition, Inc.
Safe Children Coalition, Inc. (SCC) serves as the lead agency for community-based care for Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties. SCC is a collaboration between local community agencies who provide services to children and families in need. SCC is committed to protecting children, strengthening families, and building community. The core functions provided by SCC include child welfare case management, foster care, adoption, independent living, prevention, diversion, quality management, and support services. Visit sccfl.org or call 941-371-4799.