Michelle Kunz

Michelle Kunz is the first winner of the 2017 Duane L. Ottenstroer Legacy Scholarship as a 12th grade student at Allen D. Nease High School, St. Augustine, Florida. She is currently enrolled at the University of North Florida. Her story is unique, having supported herself since before the age of 16 and working many part-time jobs to make ends meet. Ms. Kunz’s essay, entitled “Human Nature,” explores how helping others can truly change an individual and their community.

Watch the Video

“The unity of a community can change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

– Inaugural winner of the St. Johns County Duane L. Ottenstroer Legacy Challenge Match Scholarship

Kylee Carpino

Ms. Kylee Carpino’s parents always encouraged academic success for their children. Kylee met that challenge and excelled in math, graduating from Seminole Ridge High School with a 3.9 GPA. She was accepted to the University of North Florida (UNF) as a freshman and received a First Generation Challenge Match Scholarship.

“Don’t give up on college, as it is an experience that you won’t have again. Thank you to UNF and the Florida Prepaid College Foundation for caring about First Generation students!”

– First Generation Challenge Match Scholarship Recipient

Melkevia Morris Ivey

Ms. Melkevia Morris Ivey was a Duval County Take Stock in Children Scholar, the youngest of six children and the first in her family to go to college. Today, Melkevia is an income tax accounting professional in Jacksonville, Florida.  Remembering the value of Take Stock in Children and having a mentor, Melkevia applied to be a mentor with the Duval program.

“I wanted to share the skills of goal setting with a young person. Give to the next generation what was given to me. Set visions and routines that would set someone apart from the crowd.”

– Project STARS Scholar

Raphael Powell

Mr. Raphael Powell was a Valencia College Foundation Project STARS scholar. After graduating from Wekiva High School in 2017, he is now studying music education at Valencia College.

“After being matched with a mentor who shared his passion for music and encouraged his success, Raphael dramatically improved his grade point average and was admitted to Valencia College. Raphael now hopes to become a music teacher with plans to attend Florida Atlantic University after graduating from Valencia College.” – Denise Crisofi, Ph.D.

– Project STARS Scholar


Trista Reeves

Ms. Trista Reeves was a Project STARS and Take Stock in Children Nassau scholar. After graduating from Hilliard Middle Senior High School in 2015, she began a new journey into higher education at Florida State University.  Ms. Reeves is grateful for the Florida Prepaid scholarship and the future it is helping her create. She feels that while the monetary value of the scholarship is essential in helping gain a college degree, the relationships and the people have been the most valuable part of her overall experience.

“From the moment I became a Take Stock scholar in eighth grade, I was surrounded by the most supportive people who helped mold me into an empowered young woman ready to take on the world.”

– Project STARS Scholar