Catholic Community Foundation presents 16 scholarships

Bishop Frank J. Dewane, joined by members of the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida Inc. Board, led a virtual presentation ceremony on May 20, 2020 from the Catholic Center in Venice to honor 16 Foundation scholarship winners.

The recipients of the Mary Fran Carroll, Coseglia and Schaerf scholarships were recognized for their outstanding academic achievements and for their commitment of continuing their education in pursuit of wide-ranging career paths such as nursing, pediatrician, veterinarian, engineering and more. The ceremony is typically held in person, but the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the virtual ceremony.

Bishop Dewane opened the presentation with prayer and said he was impressed with the new Foundation Scholars adding that many are interested in going into the medical field, where there is a great need. “God has blessed you each with different gifts. Enjoy what you are going to do but keep an eye on that goal.”

Michael Morse, Executive Director of the Catholic Community Foundation, congratulated the new scholars, saying the young men and women are worthy to forever be known as Foundation Scholars. “Every one of you, from what we learned, is unique, special, strong and smart; embrace that.”

The Mary Fran Carroll Scholarship provides a total of 11 academic scholarships, each valued at $3,000, to residents of Sarasota County and is available for tuition, books and fees. This year there were 10 traditional scholarship winners (high school graduates pursuing an undergraduate degree) and one non-traditional winner (an adult learner seeking an advanced education after being away from school for a number of years). Scholarship applicants were asked to complete an online application and financial needs assessment in addition to submitting a clearly articulated career plan describing their chosen course of study. Traditional students needed to be accepted into an accredited college or university and non-traditional students needed to be accepted into an accredited college, university or vocational program. Scholarships may also be renewed annually up to a total of five academic years for students maintaining a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.2 or greater, while also making progress toward their career goal.

The Frank and Florence Coseglia Scholarship provides a one-time scholarship of $1,117.00 to one graduating senior from each of the four Catholic High Schools within the Diocese of Venice. The winners were nominated by their high schools and approved by the Foundation Board.

The newest award offered through the Foundation is the Frederick W. Schaerf M.D. Ph.D. Neuroscience Scholarship, which provides one $4,000 one-time scholarship to a graduating senior from Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers interested in pursuing a career in neuroscience.

The Foundation Scholarship Committee carefully reviewed applications before determining the worthiest applicants.

During the virtual scholarship ceremony, the recipients shared their personal experiences as well as college and career goals. Each expressed their appreciation for the scholarship from the Foundation. Many specifically explained how the scholarship money will assist in lessening the financial burden of attending college and pursuing their career goals.

Mary Fran Carroll Scholar Elizabeth Steindorf graduated from Riverview High School and is a parishioner at Christ the King Parish in Sarasota, who will be attending the Louisiana State University Ogden Honors College to study chemistry on a pre-med track in hopes of becoming either a general pediatrician or pediatric surgeon. “Thank you. This scholarship will help pay for my undergrad so I can focus my funds toward medical school in the future.”

Board President Dominick Cavuato summed up the sentiments of the Board when he noted how the new Foundation Scholars are an impressive group of young women and men.

“We congratulate you on the journey you have taken so far, and we look forward to hearing great things in the future,” Cavuato said.

The Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida Inc. was established to provide philanthropic opportunities for individuals, such as Mary Fran Carroll, to create lasting gifts in support of Catholic programs and ministries within the Diocese of Venice. Last year alone, the Foundation distributed $1.2 million in endowed support for Catholic Schools, Parishes, Seminarian education, programs for the needy, college scholarships and more.

To learn more about the Catholic Community Foundation, please contact Michael Morse at 941-441-1124 or by email at Morse@dioceseofvenice.org.  You can also visit the Foundation website at www.CCFDioceseofvenice.org.

Coseglia Scholarships awarded

Staff Report

6/18/19

The Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida awarded four outstanding Diocese of Venice Catholic high school graduates with the 2019 Frank & Florence Coseglia Scholarship. The winners were recognized for their academic standing, service to their Parish and school, as well as an essay on what their Catholic Education has meant to them.

The scholarship recipients are Samuel Berjarano of Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers; Scholastica Egwakhide of St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples; Christopher Twargoski of Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota; and Olivia Burke of Donahue Academy in Ave Maria.

The Catholic Community Foundation Coseglia Scholarship was established in 2012 to fulfill the dreams of Frank and Florence Coseglia. The Coseglias wanted to provide financial support to deserving Catholic high school graduates pursuing degrees at accredited colleges or universities, and they wanted that financial support to last far beyond their lifetimes. For these reasons, the Coseglias chose to create a Catholic Legacy by establishing an endowed scholarship fund with the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida.

The winners were nominated by their high schools and approved by the Catholic Community Foundation Board of Directors. Each will receive a one-time scholarship of $1,117 toward the cost of their college/university studies. This is the eighth year the Catholic Community Foundation Coseglia Scholarship has been awarded.

Egwakhide, who will be studying to become a nurse at Regis College, wrote in her essay that: “I believe that a Catholic education changed my life for the better and helped me to come to a better understanding of myself. This scholarship will enable me to continue my search in life and give me the opportunity to continue my Catholic education at Regis College in the fall.”

With plans to study computer science at the University of Central Florida, Berjarano wrote: “I have been blessed to be raised in a Catholic family where faith plays an important role in our lives. By receiving the Coseglia Scholarship, I would be given a ticket to my own future; a way to attend university without worrying about needing to get into debt just to pursue my goals.”

Catholic Community Foundation Executive Director Michael Morse said the Coseglia Scholarship is a wonderful example of how one family chose to support the good works of the Catholic Church by investing in the education of our youth.

Those interested in learning how to set up an annual scholarship in their name, or the name of a loved one, should contact the Catholic Community Foundation at 941-441-1124.

Coseglia Scholarships awarded

Staff Report

The Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida awarded four outstanding Diocese of Venice Catholic High School graduates with the 2018 Frank & Florence Coseglia Scholarship. The winners were recognized for their academic standing, service to their Parish and school, as well as an essay on what their Catholic Education has meant to them.

The scholarship recipients are Ombretta Lubin of Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers; Emma Milbert of St. John Neumann Catholic High School in Naples; Lucas Ritcher of Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Sarasota; and Clare Williams of Donahue Academy in Ave Maria.

The Catholic Community Foundation Coseglia Scholarship was established in 2012 to fulfill the dreams of Frank and Florence Coseglia. The Coseglias wanted to provide financial support to deserving Catholic High School graduates pursuing degrees at accredited colleges or universities, and they wanted that financial support to last far beyond their lifetimes. For these reasons, the Coseglias chose to create a Catholic Legacy by establishing an endowed scholarship fund with the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida.

Ombretta Lubin

The three winners were nominated by their high schools and approved by the Catholic Community Foundation Board of Directors. Each will receive a one-time scholarship of $1,111 toward the cost of their college/university studies. This is the seventh year the Catholic Community Foundation Coseglia Scholarship has been awarded to outstanding Diocese of Venice Catholic High School graduates.

Lubin wrote in her essay that through the Catholic Church and the education fortunately given to her, she became a better person. “I am the first in my family to attend college and I am determined to succeed,” she added. “With this scholarship money, I’ll be able to further my studies at Florida International University.”

Emma Milbert

Planning to become an elementary teacher Milbert wrote: “This is where my passion starts, with the education of children, and I wouldn’t have been able to recognize this if it weren’t for my Catholic Education.”

Crediting her Catholic Education for mentally and spiritually preparing her to go out and start making a difference, Milbert added that “it’s truly amazing how such young people right now, in a couple of years, can change the world, but what’s sad is one out of every four children are illiterate.”

Lucas Richter

With plans to study political science and pre-law, Richter wrote: “The Coseglia Scholarship will enable me to give back to my community more often without having to worry about paying for tuition. I finally learned the lesson a Catholic Education has taught me: the community is much

Clare Williams 

more than giving back, it’s changing the world around us for the better.”

Williams will work toward a degree in either mathematics or business, and explained how Catholic Education shaped her goals for the future and given her life purpose. “Only by understanding what my education has meant to me can I begin to appreciate who I am as an individual.”

Catholic Community Foundation Executive Director Michael Morse noted that the Coseglia Scholarship is a wonderful example of how one family chose to support the good works of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Venice by investing in the education of our youth.  “By creating an endowment with the Foundation, the Coseglias have guaranteed the availability of scholarship funds for generations to come,” Morse said.

Those interested in learning how to set up an annual scholarship in their name, or the name of a loved one, should contact the Catholic Community Foundation at 941-441-1124.

Traditional and Non-traditional Scholarships awarded

By Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

The 2018 Mary Fran Carroll Scholarships were recently announced by the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida Inc. This is the second year for the scholarship which was made possible through the Catholic legacy of Mary Fran Carroll and her generous gift to the Foundation.

As a result, seven traditional academic scholarships were awarded to recent high school graduates exclusively from Sarasota County. They are: from Venice High School, Bailey Jordan, Casey Lavalle, Emma Szablowski, and Sarah Zoetman; from Sarasota High School, Matthew Kowalczyk; from Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School, Keri McMahon; and from North Port High School, Samantha Novak. In addition three non-traditional academic scholarships were awarded to adult learners who are returning to school to obtain a degree. They are: Alijah Madkour of Incarnation Parish, Sarasota; Shannon Butler, San Pedro Parish, North Port; and Kristine (Kelli) Ottman, Epiphany Cathedral, Venice.

Matthew Kowalczyk, enrolled at the University of South Florida where he wants to become a physician’s assistant, said in his application that “helping people has been number one for me always. I was taught that in some circumstances it is more important to help others first and then yourself. This scholarship will help me focus on becoming a better student (with more studying time) as well as give me more time to do what I love which is giving back to the community.”

Emma Szablowski plans on majoring in Criminology at Florida State University and chose this particular career path due to her many moves during the last 18 years. Primarily living in the deep south “I have observed numerous situations where individuals were not treated fairly, primarily due to race. I want to make a difference once and for all for such civil rights issues. Also, I believe that a lack of religious life has led the demise of human compassion.”

Kristine “Kelli” Ottman, who was the catechist for the Holy Communion class at Epiphany Cathedral for 17 years, would now like to become a teacher. “My plan to achieve my career goal is to make a difference in the lives of children. I know that creating a strong foundation and a love for learning will offer the best opportunity to children. I have a passion for faith-based teaching. I am confident it builds the foundation for a child’s educational future as well as their character.”

The traditional scholarships were open to Sarasota County graduating seniors and recent high school graduates from private or public high schools who wish to pursue an undergraduate degree at any accredited college or university. In addition, the non-traditional scholarships were open to adult learners who were returning to school to obtain a college degree or vocational certification after being out of high school for several years.

The scholarships are named for a successful businesswoman who dedicated her life to her faith, to fun and to charity. Mary Fran Carroll retired as an executive with Northern Trust Co. in the late 1980s, before serving as CEO of Schroeder-Manatee Ranch for more than a decade. In that role, Carroll was responsible for much of the development of Lakewood Ranch, including the Sarasota Polo Club and the Lakewood Ranch Corporate Business Park.

Carroll gave a gift of $3.6 million to establish the scholarship fund to help others achieve career success through her legacy, explained Catholic Community Foundation Executive Director Michael Morse. Carroll was committed to providing opportunities to those individuals willing to work hard to make a difference in the community. This is the second year the $3,000 scholarships were awarded.

Scholarship applicants were asked to complete an online application and financial needs assessment in addition to submitting a clearly articulated career plan describing their chosen course of study. Traditional students needed to be accepted into an accredited college or university and non-traditional students needed to be accepted into an accredited college, university or vocational program.

The Foundation Scholarship Committee carefully reviewed applications before determining the worthiest applicants. The scholarship can be used for tuition, books and fees. Scholarships may also be renewed annually up to a total of five academic years for students maintaining a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.2 or greater, while also making progress toward their career goal. Scholarship recipients are strongly encouraged to complete an ethics course at some point in their college career.

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