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Poinciana Council Awards Four Scholarships to Poinciana Seniors

On Friday, April 8 the Poinciana Council of The Osceola Chamber celebrated education in the Poinciana area with their Annual Scholarship Awards Luncheon at Poinciana High School.

The event began with a four-course lunch catered by the Poinciana High School Culinary Arts students under the instruction of Chef Juan Alamo.  Attendees were served in the students’ classroom, complete with views of their kitchen studio.  These students learn all aspects of planning, preparing, and serving their meals, and they could not have been greater hosts.  They offered an Asian-inspired menu of egg rolls and potstickers, chicken and vegetable lo main, and a chocolate green tea mousse for dessert.

Following lunch, PHS ROTC students escorted attendees to the Osceola Business Academy, an application-only, business focused program located on the PHS campus, to learn about and celebrate the scholarship recipients.

Earlier this year, the Poinciana Council Board of Directors solicited applications from eligible graduating seniors with a single requirement that the student live in area code 34758, 34759, or 34746.  Thanks to an Osceola County Community Betterment Grant from District 3 Commissioner, and Board of County Commissioners Chairman, Brandon Arrington, the Council was able to match their collected funds and offer the scholarship to a total of four students.

After an application review process, the Poinciana Council board chose four remarkable students with diverse interests and life goals from four different Osceola County School District schools.  The decision was based on extra curricular and volunteer activity, recommendation from the students’ teachers and advisors, and, most importantly, the student’s essay response to the question “Explain your educational goals and future career path.  How will achieving your goals impact your community?”

Noan Crandall, a Poinciana High Student, wants to study video game design and create games that will bridge gaps between generations and bring families together.  Shenica Jerome from Liberty High School plans to become an OBGYN and advocate for women’s healthcare and education.  Xiomaris Legarreta, a theatre major from the Osceola County School for the Arts, wants to put her passion for performing toward a career in broadcast journalism.  Anthony Polanco, a member of the first-ever graduating class at NeoCity Academy, plans to pursue a career in finance and help educate his community on financial independence.

Minus the intrusion of an unplanned fire drill (welcome to high school!) scholarship recipients and event attendees listened as keynote speaker Dr. Chundra Evens, Assistant Superintendent at the Osceola County School District, reminded them to seek practical experience outside the classroom, as it is the powerful weapon that could make dreams come true.  Impressed with the students, she used their own words via quotes from their essays as proof that character is as important as intelligence in creating bright, well-rounded students.  Commissioner Arrington reminded the students to seize opportunity whenever it presents itself – even if it isn’t what you think you’re looking for.

The annual scholarship awards could not be possible with sponsorships and community support.  This year’s event was sponsored by Riviera Spa Massage and HCA Healthcare Florida.  Poinciana High School and the Osceola Business Academy continue to support and celebrate this event year after year, and the Poinciana Council’s impact is heightened by the generous Community Betterment Grant program and Commissioner Arrington.

If you would like to support this event or assist the Poinciana Council Board with their other education- and future-focused programs in the Poinciana area, reach out to us at cpilkington@theosceolachamber.com.  See more images from the event in the gallery below.



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