(Palm Beach, Fla.) – Twelve college-bound Palm Beach County students, who have graduated from Title I high schools, are receiving financial support for their education thanks to scholarships from Kids’ Dreams, a 501c3 public charity dedicated to providing educational and cultural opportunities for economically disadvantaged youth.
The top three recipients of the scholarships are: Tamana Akthar, Daniela Perez and Joelishia Banfield.
Tamana, a graduate of Pahokee High School, is attending Florida Atlantic University Honors College to study business management and accounting. A native of Bangladesh, she dreams of using her education to give back to developing countries. She will be the first in her family to attend college.
“I want to donate to women and kids and help them get a better education,” she said, explaining that she hopes to start a community service organization at FAU to get others involved in her dream.
A “straight-A” student, Daniela hopes to own a primary care medical practice some day. She graduated from John I. Leonard High School and will be studying biology and pre-med at the University of Florida. She also maintained a 4.0 GPA for dual enrollment courses at Palm Beach State College. A competitive dancer, she also was a cheerleader and led her school’s blood drive for two years. “If the world had more young ladies like Daniela Perez, it would be a better place,” wrote her chemistry teacher, Jacki Burgess-Malone, in a recommendation letter.
Joelishia, a graduate of Glades Central Community High School, plans to study biology and political science at Florida Atlantic University. Witnessing her mother and grandmother suffer numerous heart attacks inspired her to pursue a career in medicine. During high school, she earned a certification as a Florida Administrative Medical Assistant from Palm Beach State College and graduated in the top 10 percent of her high school class. She also found time to play volleyball, cheerlead and volunteer more than 900 hours.
Scholarship recipient Rood Emmanuel, a graduate of Inlet Grove High School, who will be attending the University of Florida to study biology/pre-med, also received the Alan Lebow Award for Excellence in Shakespearean Performance from Kids’ Dreams.
The additional scholarship winners are:
· Marlene Aboytes, a Pahokee High School graduate, is attending University of South Florida in education.
· Natasha Dorcent, graduated from Lake Worth High School and is studying pre-law at FAMU.
· Ashley Everett, a Pahokee High School graduate, is attending Florida International University in nursing.
· Arkevious Hardwick, a Glades Central High School graduate, will be attending the University of Florida in mechanical engineering.
· Lisa Norzea graduated from Lake Worth High School and plans to attend the University of Florida to become a physical therapist.
· Lindjee Noziere attended Atlantic High School and will be studying pre-med at Florida Atlantic University.
· Albert Norgaisse, a Boynton Beach High School graduate, is attending FAU to study computer science. He also has a passion for acting and starred in many of his high school plays.
· Carolina Pereda, graduated from John I. Leonard High School and is studying pre-med at Palm Beach State College.
The scholarship recipients completed a comprehensive application process and were selected by Kids’ Dreams Founder Patricia Lebow, the managing partner of Broad and Cassel’s West Palm Beach office, and Kids’ Dreams board members: Patrick J. DiSalvo, CPA, who has served as a mentor to previous scholarship winners; Amanda Lebow, director of film strategy for Bond Strategy and Influence in New York City; and Lance Longwater, vice president for SunTrust Investment Services. Katherine Reynolds, a Broad and Cassel paralegal also served on the scholarship review committee.
“Without the extra support from Kids’ Dreams, they may not have been able to pursue their dreams of higher education,” said Lebow. “We were impressed by the accomplishments of all of the scholarship recipients and know they will be successful future professionals and leaders in their respective fields.
“We also hope that these scholarship recipients will mentor with us so that we can provide continuing support to each of them throughout their education in accordance with our mission: to make Kids’ Dreams come true.”