Florida Prepaid Press Release
May 1, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 1, 2017
CONTACT: Shannon Colavecchio
• Ms. Michelle Kunz will receive a 2-Year Florida College Plan scholarship provided by the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Foundation
• 135 St. Johns County high school students submitted essays to be entered to win
• Scholarship recognizes Mr. Ottenstroer’s outstanding 15 years of service to the Florida Prepaid College Board, the Florida Prepaid College Foundation and the state of Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Prepaid College Foundation’s newest scholarship offering has drawn 135 students, who submitted essays on the value of public service, for the chance to win two free years of college. Ms. Michelle Kunz, a senior at Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, is the winner of the essay contest.
The Duane L. Ottenstroer Legacy Scholarship Essay Contest honors the many years of service by longtime Florida Prepaid College Board Chairman Duane L. Ottenstroer, who has also served on numerous corporate and community boards, continues to be active in higher education policy, and resides in St. Johns County, Florida.
The essay contest was open from March 1, 2017 to March 31, 2017, and provides two years of college tuition, valued at approximately $7,800, to a St. Johns County high school student who shares Ottenstroer’s interest in public service.
“We are thrilled with the response to this new scholarship opportunity, and look forward to awarding this scholarship to Ms. Kunz,” said Board Chairman John Rood, who took the gavel from Ottenstroer in late 2016. “It is truly inspiring to see so many students committed to public service at this stage of their life. On behalf of the Florida Prepaid College Board, we are excited to see the winning student use their college education to follow Mr. Ottenstroer’s example of giving back to the community.”
Each entrant submitted a 500-word essay on “The Value of Public Service: How Can Public Service Positively Affect an Individual and Their Community?” The students, all attending school in St. Johns County in grades 9-12, also had to submit a personal essay and one letter of recommendation from an educator or professional.
Ms. Kunz’s essay entitled “Human Nature” is built around her conviction that community involvement and voluntary public service are an exception to humans’ inherent “selfishness,” giving us happiness and improving our moral compass. The essay explores how helping others can truly change an individual and their community.
“The unity of a community can change the world,” she writes. “In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
The Foundation is proud to collaborate with the St. Johns County School District and Volunteer Florida, the lead agency for volunteerism and national service in Florida.
“The Foundation is grateful for the partnerships that make the Legacy Scholarship possible,” said Cynthia F. O’Connell, Director of the Florida Prepaid College Foundation. “Volunteer Florida and the St. Johns County School District have been wonderful examples of how, together, we can create more opportunities for our students. We congratulate Ms. Kunz on her academic and community service efforts and winning the first Duane L. Ottenstroer Legacy Scholarship essay contest.”
“Volunteer Florida is thrilled to partner with the Florida Prepaid College Foundation in support of the Duane L. Ottenstroer Legacy Scholarship essay contest,” said Chester W. Spellman, Volunteer Florida Chief Executive Officer. “Recognizing students who demonstrate a commitment to public service is a wonderful way to encourage volunteerism in the Sunshine State.”
For more information, go to www.myfloridaprepaid.com/legacyscholarship.
About the Florida Prepaid College Foundation
Since its founding in 1990, the Foundation has committed to giving aspiring students the opportunity to build a better future for themselves and our state by providing college scholarships funded through partnerships with individuals, businesses, educational foundations and the Florida Legislature. The Foundation administers several innovative scholarship programs designed to help students achieve their dream of earning a college education. The Foundation is the 501(c)(3) direct support organization for the Florida Prepaid College Board. Since 1988, the Florida Prepaid College Board has offered families a means to save for their children and grandchildren’s future college expenses with the Stanley G. Tate Florida Prepaid College Program. To learn more about the Florida Prepaid College Foundation, visit here.