GCCF awards $162K to local students

 SUN FILE PHOTO    Katlin Corbitt, who previously was presented with the Royal Order of Ponce de Leon Conquistadors Scholarship by the 2013 Ponce Ray Dion, was awarded three scholarships courtesy of Gulf Coast Community Foundation, winning the LBHS Mary B. Conwell Scholarship, Tom and Annette Dignam Family Trust Scholarship and Englewood Youth Foundation Janet E. and Henry J.G. Davis Memorial Scholarship.

SUN FILE PHOTO
Katlin Corbitt, who previously was presented with the Royal Order of Ponce de Leon Conquistadors Scholarship by the 2013 Ponce Ray Dion, was awarded three scholarships courtesy of Gulf Coast Community Foundation, winning the LBHS Mary B. Conwell Scholarship, Tom and Annette Dignam Family Trust Scholarship and Englewood Youth Foundation Janet E. and Henry J.G. Davis Memorial Scholarship.

ENGLEWOOD — Lemon Bay High School graduate Katlin Corbitt has much to be thankful for after the three scholarships she’s been awarded through Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

GCCF awarded 336 scholarships totaling over $450,000 to 232 students including 155 scholarships totaling $161,872 awarded to 76 students who reside or attended high school in Englewood, Rotonda West, Placida, Port Charlotte or Boca Grande, according to Kelly Romanoff, strategic engagement officer at GCCF. Corbitt won the LBHS Mary B. Conwell Scholarship, Tom and Annette Dignam Family Trust Scholarship and Englewood Youth Foundation Janet E. and Henry J.G. Davis Memorial Scholarship.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Corbitt said. “I wouldn’t have been able to afford to go to college otherwise.”

Corbitt said the scholarships are first year. She plans to go into emergency medicine at the University of Central Florida.

“More than 400 local students applied for funding from 50 scholarship funds held at Gulf Coast,” said Mark Pritchett, senior vice president community investment at GCCF. “The number of applicants and available dollars has been steadily growing since the program’s inception in 1997. Compared to last year, we received more applications and were able to award more scholarships.”

The scholarships awarded are generally $1,000 and Pritchett credits the generosity of donors with making the program possible.

“Gulf Coast’s scholarship program continues to grow because of the generous gifts of individuals who partner with us to pass on their values by investing in the future of promising students,” Pritchett said.

The Englewood Youth Foundation works with GCCF with five of the scholarships including the EYF Scholarship, EYF Matching Scholarship, EYF Frances B. Concordia Memorial Scholarship, EYF Janet E. and Henry J.G. Davis Memorial Scholarship and EYF Nick Pihowicz.

“I don’t think we could have administered the scholarships without them,” said Valerie Wagner, EYF treasurer. “GCCF has streamlined the process online and that’s been an improvement every year. It flows pretty smoothly. Once we pick the recipient, GCCF does all the groundwork and administration work.”

Wagner said they go through 100 to 120 applications on average every year.

“When they apply through the GCCF website, they answer questions to see what they qualify for,” Wagner said. “I’ve been working with them for six years. Their staff is always wonderful to work with.”

EYF awarded 35 scholarships this school year.

For more information, call gulfcoastcf.org or call 941-486-4600.

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About Tom

Tom Chang is a freelance journalist with a background in multimedia journalism and web publishing. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Journalism and Media Studies from the University of South Florida St.Petersburg. He graduated in 2004 with a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications at USF Tampa. Tom's interests include a little bit of everything from entertainment to sports. He also wishes to delve into creative writing writing sci-fi/fantasy stories. Tom was recently the Online Editor for USF St. Petersburg's the Crow's Nest, he joined the staff in January 2010 where he started freelance writing, photographing, copy editing and later became a staff writer. Tom’s freelance experience in journalism amassed a wide range of companies including Creative Loafing, The Focus Magazine, Lutz News, Examiner.com, and Tampa Tribune.
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